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What does Xavier need to do to hold a #1 seed?

Most experts have Xavier on the one line now with less than a week to go.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at DePaul
Get it? Because he’s #1.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

According to the incredible Bracket Matrix, there are currently two unanimous number one seeds in every projection. That means that out of 102 projected brackets done by 102 different people, only two teams appear on the one line on all of them. Those two are Villanova and Virginia. Right behind them are the Xavier Musketeers, with 99 of 102 brackets sitting them on the top line. With Selection Sunday only four days away, Xavier is perched in position to be playing against a #16 seed.

How can Xavier make sure they stay in that position when the committee announces the bracket (or whatever they are doing) at 6pm on Sunday? By doing this:

Don’t lose a bad one

This means that dumping the game at noon tomorrow against the winner of St. John’s and Georgetown is not an option. Do that, and Xavier is landing squarely on the two line. Should Xavier win that first one they would get the winner of Creighton and Providence in the semifinals. A loss there might not be fatal to one seed chances, but really only landing in the final seems to make it a guarantee.

Hope for losses elsewhere

Kansas, Villanova, and Virginia are the other one seeds in most brackets. Obviously, Xavier knocking off Nova clinches a one seed, and the Big East tournament, for the Musketeers. Beyond that, X could do well to see Kansas and Virginia to bow out early. Duke and UNC are probably the two teams most likely to move up onto the one line, so a loss from either of them could help the Musketeers as well. The other twos are Purdue, who can’t add to their resume, and UC, who really shouldn’t make the one line barring a series of freak accidents.

Or pull for chalk

As things stand now, Xavier is on that top line. If everyone else holds serve and Xavier meets Nova in the Big East final, they should be in good shape. This is hard to comprehend for a guy born late in the Bob Staak era, but all the Musketeers need to keep a one seed on Selection Sunday is for the status quo to continue. That’s a great position to be in.