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Sunday Conversation 1/15

The schedule has toughened up and Xavier hasn't toughened with it.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Two of Xavier's three hardest games if the season cam this past week and X failed the test by some margin in Philly before shooting themselves in the foot at Butler. Where they go from here is tricky with the formidable Creighton Bluejays coming to town, but first we have to do forensics on what was a pretty miserable week for X.

Brad

So that's two in a row now. I'd be a lot less upset about dropping this top 15 game on the road if we hadn't just gotten thrashed in Philly. The temptation here is going to be to blame the shambolic officiating, but we were bad at the line early and, once again, from behind the arc.

Paul

That was a depressing game, mostly because we didn't get outplayed just outshot from the line and from 3. I'm going to stay positive and say we knew there were going to be growing pains with Myles and we saw that tonight. I still think this is a very good team, but I'm worried about them getting a good enough seed to succeed in March.

Joel

We left 11 points at the line in a game that was a 1-point contest more than once after the final media timeout. That's how you lose on the road. The guy who is supposed to be our best pure scorer shot 2-10, mostly on long jumpers. The guy who is supposed to be our best offensive player took 24 minutes to wake up and realize that he can drive past anyone on Butler. The guy who is supposed to be our craftiest offensive player turned the ball over 7 times. We had 6 assists on 22 made buckets. We may have scored 78 points on 71 possessions, but that was not a good offensive performance for us.

Brad

So how does this color how we look at tomorrow? If we lose three straight, the alarm bells are going to be ringing in earnest. That said, this is yet another very good team that is playing good ball and Ed is a question mark.

Joel

You've gotta have the discipline to not freak out about three in a row if that's how it goes down. That would be a big deal against any three A10 teams, but realistically these are three very loseable games. We wouldn't panic if we lost them all but one was in January, one was in February, and one was in March. It's a really unfortunate quirk of the schedule that they all come one right after the next.

With that said, losing here and having six days to think about it before the next game wouldn't be great for my outlook.

Paul

Agreed. These losses would also be much easier to stomach if our non conference looked a little better. Clemson hasn't done us any favors by blowing a few close games. Two of our wins are over NIU and they look worse than advertised. Utah and Wake don't look like tourney teams.

In the grand scheme of things we are still sitting at 24 in Kenpom and there's no doubt that the best is yet to come. The room for error is just closing a little bit with missed opportunities. That said, as it seems to be every year now, the bubble is incredibly weak and we are still in good shape.