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KenPom Bracketology: 2/10

Earlier in the year we loved Xavier by the numbers. Now, things are getting ugly.

This was a lot more fun when we couldn't lose, but I guess these are the times that try men's souls. Xavier's current 21-3 record has them floating around a three seed in other bracket projections right now, and there is still plenty of time left over for X to make a push for the top spot. Moving around the KenPom rankings is a lot more difficult. Perhaps most pertinently, it is easier to move down than it is to move up. Xavier has some tough games down the stretch though, and that will keep giving the Muskies chances to rise here. Here's today's s-curve:

The KenPom s-curve 2/10
1 VILLANOVA IOWA VIRGINIA Michigan St.
2 North Carolina Kansas Maryland OKLAHOMA
3 West Virginia OREGON WICHITA ST. Duke
4 Purdue Miami FL KENTUCKY Arizona
5 Iowa St. Texas A&M CONNECTICUT Xavier
6 SAINT MARY'S Texas Indiana VALPARAISO
7 USC Notre Dame Florida Cincinnati
8 Gonzaga VCU Baylor Seton Hall
9 Vanderbilt Florida St. Dayton Syracuse
10 Kansas St. Butler ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK Creighton
11 California Utah South Carolina Michigan
12 Providence MONMOUTH Saint Joseph's STONY BROOK
12 Wisconsin Pittsburgh
13 YALE HAWAII AKRON SAN DIEGO ST.
14 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN SOUTH DAKOTA ST. CHATTANOOGA UNC WILMINGTON
15 NEW MEXICO ST. UAB WEBER ST. BELMONT
16 TEXAS SOUTHERN BUCKNELL NORTH FLORIDA UNC ASHEVILLE
16 WAGNER NORFOLK ST.
First 4 out LSU Colorado Clemson Georgetown
Next 4 out Tulsa Texas Tech Georgia Tech Arkansas

And the full bracket:

KenPom 2-10

There are a lot of teams that Pomeroy values differently than traditional brackets do. The main reason for this is that Pomeroy focuses on the process while most people (including the Selection Committee) focus on the results. There's not a big difference to KenPom between a one-point win and a one-point loss, but that's obviously a huge deal to you and me and the folks who make the final decision. Computer rankings in general also ding teams for winning by 8 when they should have won by 20, while a win is a win in the eyes of the Committee. This is something of an oversimplification, but it's the reason you're seeing X on the 5 line here when they're doing better according to Joe Lunardi.

This tends to favor teams in bigger conferences, as Creighton and Georgetown both appear much higher here than they do elsewhere. Being able to hang tough with the big boys, regardless of the final result, looks a lot better to computers than it does in real life.