This came before the LBSU loss- Tim Floyd of UTEP thinks the Musketeers are a Sweet 16 or Elite Eight type of team. Hopefully he wasn't watching the next day, or the consolation game type effort that Xavier put up in the consolation game may have changed his viewpoint.
KenPom still has Xavier at #45- You'll have to tune in later this week to see where that lands Xavier on KenPom Bracketology, but it's significant that Xavier's back to back losses lost them exactly nine spots in the best ranking system in the country. This may go without saying, but no team above Xavier has a defensive efficiency anywhere near as bad as Xavier's 112th ranking.
ESPN ranks the Big East as fifth best- The Big 12 leads the way and, much as we like to complain about ESPN's very real bias, these rankings don't seem all that far off. The Big East needs another team to join Villanova in order to make the jump to being a truly elite conference. As it is, being a tick behind the top three (or four) is nothing to sneeze at. Of note: "Xavier could round into form as this league's No. 2 team. (Musketeer opponents may not continue to hit 41 percent of their 3s for the entire season.)" Or maybe they will.
Speaking of ESPN darlings- Wichita St. just keeps winning. Their non-conference schedule peaks with a game at Utah, so expect this streak to just keep going and going. Big conference roadtrips to Drake, Loyola Chicago, and Bradley don't figure to present much of a hurdle. For a fun reference point, DePaul would be solidly in the top half of the MVC, and Duquesne would represent the third or fourth toughest road game on the slate. Beating the teams in front of you loses some shine when the teams in front of you are uniformly horrid.
Another slap in the face to Xavier- This list by CBS supposedly comprises the best freshman in the nation. With this note "And anything above 120 in ORtg is undeniably great, while cracking 130 is absolutely remarkable" they launch into a stat heavy discussion of the best freshman. Trevon Bluiett is never mentioned. His ORtg? 142.1. Bluiett may not end the season as freshman of the year, but to exclude from this list is the height of folly.