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Xavier preview.

Xavier Musketeers
Overall record: 3-1
Atlantic 10 record: 0-0
2006-07 record: 25-9 (lost to Ohio State in second round of NCAA Tournament)
2006-07 RPI: 41
2006-07 Sagarin: 32
Series: IU leads 8-0 (last meeting: 2003).
TV: 8:30 tonight, Big Ten Network
The Musketeers have won three easy ones and lost on the road to Miami of Ohio. The Musketeers lost one of last season's most memorable games, a second round NCAA Tournament game against eventual runner-up Ohio State that Xavier led throughout. IU and Xavier last played in 2003-04, IU's only losing season of the last 39, and IU won in overtime in the Wooden Tradition. Before that, the two teams met in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1993, and Xavier put a scare into the top ranked Hoosiers, who won 73-70 at the Hoosier Dome.
Not surprisingly, much of the coverage of this game surrounds Xavier's 5-7 point guard Drew Lavender. Lavender played at Oklahoma for Kelvin Sampson for two years before transferring to Xavier after the 2004-05 season. Lavender has been unremarkable offensively, but is quick and is regarded as an excellent defender. Xavier currently is playing slowly at 65.1 possessions per game, about 9 possessions behind IU. Nevertheless, Xavier averages 1.23 points per possession, ranking #5 nationally, just ahead of IU's 1.21 (#12 nationally). Xavier's defense is a bit less stingy than IU's, at .89 per possession compared to .85 for IU. Xavier rebounds the ball much better than IU on the offensive end and about the same defensively. For the second game in a row (it will be three in a row Tuesday, probably four when we play SIU next Saturday), this will be IU's most significant challenge to date.