We've had some discussion on here earlier this week about whether or not Xavier has ever been as good as this team is right now. I know it's a long season, but a team can peak at any point and there have been very few Xavier teams - if any - that have peaked higher than what this squad has accomplished over the first ten games of the year.
Of course in college basketball, a team is measured more by what it does in March and maybe the first week of April far more than it's measured by where it peaked. This team is off to a scalding hot start, but its legacy will ultimately be written three and a half months from now. There's no better way to set yourself up for a two- or three-weekend run in the tournament than grabbing a good seed, and those seeds are earned on the back of resumes being put together now. Towards that end, let's take our weekly walk through the bracket, powered by KenPom.com.
First the s-curve...
|3||Xavier||Louisville||North Carolina||Miami FL|
|5||Baylor||Iowa St.||Maryland||Notre Dame|
|8||Texas A&M||WICHITA ST.||South Carolina||VALPARAISO|
|11||Texas||Syracuse||SOUTH DAKOTA ST.||VCU|
|12||Saint Mary's||Oregon St.||Providence||Georgetown|
|13||AKRON||WILLIAM & MARY||ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK||BELMONT|
|14||OLD DOMINION||CHATTANOOGA||STONY BROOK||PRINCETON|
|15||HAWAII||ARMY||NORTH FLORIDA||STEPHEN F. AUSTIN|
|16||SOUTHERN||NEW MEXICO ST.||WEBER ST.||HIGH POINT|
|16||MOUNT ST. MARY'S||HAMPTON|
|First 4 out||Rhode Island||Colorado||Seton Hall||Tulsa|
|Next 4 out||Northwestern||California||Creighton||San Diego St.|
...and the big reveal:
The Big East is holding steady at five teams, with Seton Hall and Creighton lurking just the wrong side of the bubble. Georgetown dropped from the 8/9 area to the play-in game thanks to that loss to Monmouth last night. Speaking of Monmouth, they would be in the first four out if it weren't for holding their conference's auto bid. The Hawks have 4 KP top-50 wins right now, which is the start of a pretty decent resume. Their conference schedule is a wasteland, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that they could put together an at-large resume that would support their losing late in their conference tournament.
The major conferences continue to dominate the top of the Ken Pom rankings, with the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, Big East, and SEC combining for 38 of the 68 entries on the bracket. Of mid-major conferences, only the A-10 (3), American (2), and WCC (2) have more than one team in, though it should be noted that SMU is in position to make the tournament but banned from postseason play this year. The grander takeaway here is that it's good to be in a major conference.