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KenPom Bracketology: Xavier still in the field

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Despite the usual dreadful Thanksgiving tournament, Xavier is still in our KenPom driven tournament.

Joel D

We're back with another week of KenPom Bracketology, as we use the best measure available for showing where teams sit now and abuse it into projecting a field that won't be truly filled for another three and a half months. It's not clear that this is what Ken Pomeroy had in mind when he came up with his system, but it's also not clear that it isn't. Besides, I paid my twenty bucks and I'll do whatever I want.

Anyway, the top two lines remained entirely in situ, but there was plenty of movement further down the s-curve. Also, conference leaders are in all caps now, denoting their status as such to lend a little clarity to where the auto bids are going. Let's get right to it, then we'll discuss below. First the s-curve...

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

...and now the bracket itself.

KPBracket

Notes and thoughts and what not:
-Last week, KenPom had ten Big 10 teams in and Indiana on the bubble; this week he has ten Big 10 teams in and Indiana on the bubble.

-Despite taking two losses, Xavier has only dropped from a 9 to an 11, thanks I'm guessing to the fact that they weren't horrible teams and both losses occurred away from home.

-The Big East has 6 teams in and Creighton sitting as the very first team out.

-I know there's a lot of basketball left to be played, but it amuses me to no end that the American only has one team in the field right now.

-The ACC is a dang good conference right now, holding 3 of the top 5, 6 of the top 20, and 8 seeds overall.

I have a feeling that this bracket is probably a little more friendly to Xavier than a traditional Bracketology would be right now. The Pomeroy rankings tend to be a little less reactionary than human-derived hierarchies, so the 1-2 weekend that has most Xavier fans in a minor dither appears to be just a bump in the road in these numbers.

There's obviously a long stretch between today and Selection Sunday, but it's worth pointing out that 14 of Xavier's 18 Big East games will come against teams currently ranked 63rd or better by KenPom. Only Marquette (104) and DePaul (171) constitute bad conference games. If the Muskies can pull it together and finish the non-conference schedule in good shape, the strength of conference play should stand them in good stead as long as they execute.