Hello all, and welcome to the first edition of Xavier blind resume testing. First things first, a few things about me. I grew up in Cincinnati and have been a lifelong Xavier fan, becoming what I would consider a diehard fan after following the 03-04 Xavier season from start to finish. At the beginning of this season, I started a Xavier blog of my own dedicated to showing gif highlights of Xavier games, but I was too busy to consistently get gifs up in a timely manner so I gave up on it. I did, however, maintain my twitter and after seeing a couple of my tweets ridiculing UC’s recent end game collapses, Banners on the Parkway asked if I wanted to write for them. I was already a huge fan of the site so I jumped at the opportunity. As you well know, they do a fantastic job of covering Xavier’s games, so I plan to write blogs on various random subjects here and there, most frequently covering Xavier’s tournament resume and seeding as we get closer to March. Enough about me, let’s get to the Musketeers.
As Xavier fans are well aware college basketball analysis often times includes a large amount of bias, more often than not benefitting blue blood programs. While I respect the work Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi do, I think that bias regularly shows up in their bracketology and as a result, it’s tough to get a true idea of where Xavier stands. One way to eliminate that bias is to remove the names before seeding teams, which is what I am going to do for you today. Below are the resumes of 11 highly seeded teams with their names removed. I am going to write my opinion of where teams stand today, but the data is also here for you to form your own opinions as well. Do not scroll to the bottom if you do not want to see the teams revealed yet.
Now that we have some unbiased data, let’s find who we think the 1 and 2 seeds would be if the NCAA tournament was today. Right off the bat we can eliminate teams 3 and 10 as neither have a top 50 win. When seeding the best teams, the selection committee weighs big wins very heavily and teams with no big wins will not earn a top 2 seed, period. To cut the list to 8 I’m also going to eliminate team 2. This team has zero top 10 wins, and while they are 3-0 against the top 50, their 3 losses is the most among these teams and all 3 came to teams ranked 50+.
Now that we have 8 teams remaining, let’s distinguish the 1 seeds from the 2 seeds. I would immediately say that team 7 is the overall #1 seed. 4-1 vs the top 25 with no bad losses puts them a step above everyone else. The second best resume here is team 4. 8 top 100 wins, 5 top 50 wins, 2 top 25 wins, and 1 top 10 win is as good, if not better, than every remaining team in each respective category. Add in the fact that they only have one loss coming from a top 10 team and their resume comes in as #2 overall. The next best resume goes to team 9. A record of 7-1 against the top 100, 4-1 against top 50, 2-0 against top 25 and 1-0 against top 10 allows them to overcome their bad loss to a team in the 100+ range (not shown), as the selection committee will reward teams for big wins more than they punish teams for bad losses. The 5 remaining teams are a bit of a tossup for the last 1 seed, but I will go with team 11. Of the remaining teams their 6 top 100 wins is the highest, and their 2-0 record against the top 25 is very solid as well.
1 Seeds: Team 7, Team 4, Team 9, Team 11
2 Seeds: Team 1, Team 5, Team 6, Team 8
3+ Seeds: Team 3, Team 2, Team 10
Scroll down to see the teams revealed.
Now that the teams are revealed we have
1 Seeds: Michigan State, Xavier, Virginia, Iowa State.
2 Seeds: Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Villanova
3+ Seeds: Maryland, Kentucky, and Duke.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that the national media has significantly overrated Maryland based on their resume. ESPN bracketology has them as a 1 seed and CBS as a 2 seed, when in reality they would be a 3 at best right now due to not having a single good win. The biggest takeaway for Xavier fans would be that, save Michigan State, their resume is as good as and probably even better than anyone else in the country. The caveat here is that their top 10 win is against Dayton and with them playing in the A-10 they are unlikely to stay that high. With that in mind, my opinion here would be that Xavier is currently in fantastic shape as compared to even the best teams in the NCAA. In order to secure a 1 seed Xavier will likely need to beat Villanova to obtain a top 10 win, but if they can play well against Butler, Providence, and Seton Hall they are very much in line to get a 2/3 seed.
Thanks for reading! As always, I am open to any criticisms (and complements).
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