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It's Never Too Early...

This is the big one. If you are a Xavier fan, this is the game that is going to tell you what you need to know about this team. Temple has been sliding recently and is no longer ranked in either major poll. That doesn't mean, however, that this game has lost its import in the grand scheme of this season.

Tournament- No matter who you ask (and we're going to ask a lot of people), Temple looks good in the RPI. Jerry Palm has them at 29th, CBS at 36th, and ESPN at 37th. In those same polls X is 37th, 28th, and 32nd. What that means is that this is a matchup of two pretty good teams with each of them looking for a marquee win. Xavier will get another run at a flagging Dayton team and a shot at a well ranked Georgia squad as well, but this game would look great on a tournament resume. If the Musketeers grab this one an at-large been goes from being possible to probable. Joe Lunardi currently has XU as a 12 seed.

Conference- Temple looms just a game behind the Musketeers at the top of the A10 table. If surprising Duquesne fades, and I'd say they will, this game is the only matchup of the top two teams in the conference. A win here sets X apart as the cream of the crop in a struggling conference. As the lone contending unbeaten, Xavier would also hold wins over three of the other possible conference crown challengers (Dayton, Temple, Rhode Island). No matter how you slice it, this is a big game.