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KenPom Bracketology: Jan 8th

Keep winning in the conference and keep moving up the seed lines. Xavier is six seed now, and the Big East places seven teams.

We're back with another smashing week of KenPom Bracketology. For years, it has been ingrained in Xavier fans that the non-conference season was when you made your name and then conference play was a battle to hold serve. As we're about to see below, the complete opposite is true in Big East play (as long as you keep winning, obviously).

Side note before we get there: I was chatting with a friend of mine form college who happens to be a UK fan. He asked us if we got Nova home or away this year, so I explained to him that we had them home and away. He then went on a rant about how the expanding SEC has ruined it for basketball and how lucky we were to be in a league that (a) isn't a slave to those football dollars and (b) hasn't diluted to schedule by adding extra teams. The Big East is a hotly contested 18-game battle; enjoy cheering for a team in the best basketball conference in the nation.

Anyway, here's the s-curve...

The KenPom s-curve 1/8
1 KENTUCKY VIRGINIA Duke WISCONSIN
2 Louisville OKLAHOMA GONZAGA VILLANOVA
3 UTAH North Carolina Arizona West Virginia
4 Ohio St. Kansas VCU Notre Dame
5 Michigan St. Baylor WICHITA ST. Maryland
6 Xavier Texas Florida Iowa St.
7 Northern Iowa Oklahoma St. BYU Arkansas
8 Seton Hall Connecticut SMU South Carolina
9 Iowa St. John's Butler Cincinnati
10 Minnesota Stanford Georgia SAN DIEGO ST.
11 Syracuse Georgetown OLD DOMINION Davidson
12 George Washington Dayton Illinois Providence
12 GREEN BAY HARVARD
13 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN BUFFALO IONA GEORGIA ST.
14 EASTERN KENTUCKY WOFFORD UC SANTA BARBARA HOFSTRA
15 STONY BROOK COASTAL CAROLINA EASTERN WASHINGTON NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
16 LAFAYETTE ST. FRANCIS NY USC UPSTATE NEW MEXICO ST.
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN SOUTH DAKOTA ST.
First 4 out Washington Vanderbilt Rhode Island Mississippi
Next 4 out Alabama Indiana TCU North Carolina St.

...and this week's bracket:

KenPom Jan 8th

Our beloved Big East has seven teams in, ranging from Villanova on the two line to Providence in the last four in. Nobody else is really within striking distance of the bracket at this point, though DePaul might change that if they remain undefeated for another month or so.

Conference play tends to spread out the bids a little bit more; the top five leagues are now to claiming 32 places in the tournament, down from as high as 36 earlier in the year. The A10 has jumped from two to four teams in by virtue of Davidson, Dayton, and George Washington all being among the final five at-large bids. URI also sits just the wrong side of the bubble as one of the first four out.

The American looks the worst of the multi-bid leagues right now, with two eights and a nine seed. Meanwhile, the ACC's grip on the top line has slipped a little, but they still boast three of the top 10 as well as number 13, which is none too shabby a showing for a single league.