I’ll preface this by saying that this whole thing is somewhere between meaninglessly trivial and a shameless mid-season money grab. On some level I think I should be opposed to it, but they do the polls every week and I pay a little bit of attention to those, and this is at least more meaningful than that.
In today’s bracket reveal, Xavier landed at third overall, good for the 1 seed in the Midwest region in Omaha. Obviously there’s a lot of ground still to cover, but that would be Xavier’s highest seeding ever. Their previous high was a couple of years ago as a 2 seed, and we all remember how that ended.
The rest of the top four in Omaha are Auburn at the 2, Clemson at the 3, and Oklahoma at the 4. Those teams are currently 9th, 15th, and 28th in the KenPom, respectively.
Xavier’s path forward to remain on the one line is fairly simple: keep winning. If the Muskies go 2-0 again this week and pick up home wins against Seton Hall and Nova, they’ll have a resume that stacks up against any in the nation.
After that week, Xavier has a couple of potential resume bombs in road trips to DePaul and Georgetown, as well as a home date against Providence. Xavier has no losses outside of tier 1 right now; if they handle those last three games, they’ll head to the Big East Tournament with their pristine resume intact.
Should X take a loss, the road depends on what other top teams do. Xavier will be in the mix for a one seed down the stretch; it’s just a question of execution from the Muskies and their competitors.