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Muskies still creeping up KenPom Bracketology

Xavier keeps winning, and their seed keeps improving apace. The Muskies are one of six Big East teams currently in the bracket

Hands up if you think Xavier is in
Hands up if you think Xavier is in
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Early season KenPom rankings - along with literally anything else - are naturally less accurate than the ensuing numbers are going to be. As more data comes in, it becomes more clear what impact freshmen and transfers and normal player development are going to have, and this additional data leads to ratings that better reflect reality.

Xavier is obviously a beneficiary of this process. After starting the season with a ranking well off the bubble, they have ridden an 8-2 record to 26th in the KenPom, 16th in ESPN's fairly contrived BPI, and 23rd in the Massey composite. None of this has gotten the attention of the pollsters yet, but the Musketeers are well-positioned to post a 20-win season in a major conference, which is usually good for a tournament bid.

Where do they sit in the KenPom Bracketology right now? I'm so glad you asked. Here's this week's KenPom s-curve.

The KenPom s-curve 12/17
1 KENTUCKY DUKE Virginia WISCONSIN
2 GONZAGA ARIZONA VILLANOVA Louisville
3 TEXAS Kansas WICHITA ST. Baylor
4 Ohio St. Michigan St. North Carolina Oklahoma
5 Florida Oklahoma St. Iowa St. Utah
6 SAN DIEGO ST. Miami FL St. John's Georgetown
7 Minnesota Xavier VCU HARVARD
8 West Virginia Northern Iowa Maryland Iowa
9 Arkansas Butler Notre Dame CONNECTICUT
10 South Carolina Washington Syracuse Illinois
11 BYU Georgia UCLA Seton Hall
12 North Carolina St. Stanford SMU GREEN BAY
12 Purdue STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
13 GEORGIA ST. LOUISIANA TECH WOFFORD IONA
14 NORTHEASTERN BUFFALO NEW MEXICO ST. UC SANTA BARBARA
15 FLORIDA GULF COAST EASTERN WASHINGTON BELMONT AMERICAN
16 DENVER NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL COASTAL CAROLINA VERMONT
16 ST. FRANCIS NY ALABAMA ST.
First 4 out Pittsburgh Cincinnati Indiana Oregon
Next 4 out Alabama California Texas A&M Rhode Island

Our bracket creation machine is on the fritz right now, but we will have one out soon. It's not as pretty as usual; I fouled it up while travelling for Christmas and had to improvise. I'd say it won't happen again, but I'm travelling next week, too. Sorry. -Joel D

South Midwest
1 KENTUCKY 1 WISCONSIN
16 ST FRANCIS/ALABAMA St 16 COASTAL CAROLINA
8 West Virginia 8 Iowa
9 Arkansas 9 CONNECTICUT
. .
5 Florida 5 Utah
12 NC State/Stanford 12 GREEN BAY
4 Ohio St. 4 Oklahoma
13 GEORGIA ST. 13 IONA
. .
6 SAN DIEGO ST. 6 Georgetown
11 BYU 11 Seton Hall
3 TEXAS 3 Baylor
14 NORTHEASTERN 14 UC SANTA BARBARA
. .
7 Minnesota 7 HARVARD
10 South Carolina 10 Illinois
2 GONZAGA 2 Louisville
15 FLORIDA GULF COAST 15 AMERICAN
. .
. .
West East
1 DUKE 1 Virginia
16 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 16 VERMONT
8 Northern Iowa 8 Maryland
9 Butler 9 Notre Dame
. .
5 Oklahoma St. 5 Iowa St.
12 Stanford 12 SMU/Purdue
4 Michigan St. 4 North Carolina
13 LOUISIANA TECH 13 WOFFORD
. .
6 Miami FL 6 St. John's
11 Georgia 11 UCLA
3 Kansas 3 WICHITA ST.
14 BUFFALO 14 NEW MEXICO ST.
. .
7 Xavier 7 VCU
10 Syracuse 10 Wasington
2 ARIZONA 2 VILLANOVA
15 EASTERN WASHINGTON 15 BELMONT

The Big East once again has six teams in, ranging from 2 seed Villanova to Seton Hall as one of the last four at-large teams in. Xavier has jumped from a 10 to a 7, though they are still lined up for a potential date with Arizona in the second round. That's probably not what will go down in three months, but it's interesting to look at now.

Creighton (69) and Providence (76) have slid down the bubble for now; the last at-large team to get in is 49th ranked Purdue.

The top five leagues (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-12) account for half the teams in the tournament. The A10 is currently a one-bid league with URI lingering in the next four out, and the WCC and AAC both have one team solidly in and one team perched precariously close to dropping out.

With just the Auburn game before our next bracket, Xavier's best-case scenario is probably just to hold serve at this point. We are exactly two weeks from the beginning of conference play in the Big East.