Ranking all 351 college basketball teams without the benefit of some sort of mathematic system is a fool’s errand, and CBS’ Matt Norlander is just the fool for the job. No, Norlander isn’t really that bad, but he’s taken on a mammoth project in the run up to college basketball season.
If you follow that link you’ll get the run down on all 351 teams. Norlander didn’t skimp, there’s at least a sentence or two on everyone. If you don’t have the time to do an awful lot of scrolling, or if you’re on a mobile device and would like to be able to use your neck tomorrow, here are the teams pertinent to Xavier fans.
This is a really high ranking for a team that is under FBI investigation. There’s another reason that Arizona seems familiar...
Yeah, that was it.
Hard to argue the Wildcats being ranked in the top ten and the top of all Big East teams. Until someone demonstrates that they can consistently beat Nova, Jay Wright’s boys are going to be the top of the pack.
“This is Mick Cronin’s best team yet.” And therein lies the rub for Bearcat fans. How good can a team really be if it is Mick Cronin’s team? Expect another cruise through their mid-major before a second round exit in a game in which they score 46.
Norlander and Gary Parrish cite Xavier’s 9-9 conference record without mentioning that six of those losses came without Edmond Sumner and four of them were without Trevon Bluiett. With Bluiett and Macura back, it’s fair to say that Xavier has a very good chance of being better than 22nd in the nation.
There’s plenty of talent here, and you can bet Ed Cooley will ride it into the ground near the end of the season.
28. Seton Hall
The Pirates return Angel Delgado, Khadeen Carrington, and Desi Rodriguez. That alone makes them a frightening prospect in the Big East.
The Bluejays are significant because they are the next Big East team on the list. That gives the conference four teams in the top 50, with Butler lingering at 54th. That is, of course, assuming you think the College of Charleston and Oakland are better than the Bulldogs.
64. St. John’s
Even Norlander notes this is a pick built solely on the talent on the Red Storm. SJU has enough talent to give some of the big guns in the Big East a real challenge. Unfortunately, the have Chris Mullin as a coach. Until he proves he can convey knowledge of the game, they won’t be a serious threat.
97. Ohio State
The team 75 spots below the Musketeers is still far too proud to consider scheduling them. Were this a playground, there would be loud intimations that fear was playing into that decision by the Buckeyes.
No Archie Miller and suddenly nothing for Dayton fans to hang their hats on. Hey, at least Dayton is the garden spot of the 35 corridor. Seriously. No jokes here. At all. Great city.
Assuming you’ve never seen another one.
Yes, that’s right, Dayton is only one spot ahead of DePaul.
How the mighty have fallen. The Hoyas have a terrible non-conference, but they can always be counted on to lose at least one of those. After that, things are going to get grim. Worse than DePaul? I don’t know about that.
It’s my article, so I’m including my Zips. It took a lot of scrolling to get down here, but we’re still solidly better than the St. Peter’s Peacocks, who I’m assuming are not a team that Norlander just invented to see if people were still paying attention.
285. Miami (Oh)
Remember when this used to be one of the more exciting games on Xavier’s non-conference schedule? Fans in Oxford now must belt in for a winter spent in Butler County without basketball as a distraction.
351. Alabama A&M
What is incredible if you think about it is that all of the players on the Bulldogs are likely better than anyone most of us have ever played with. The talent required to play Division One basketball is incredible, even if that talent only lands you dead last in the nation.