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Down but, somehow, not out

Xavier is still alive, and we have the numbers to prove it.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Xavier
Travis Steele is perpetually animatedly perplexed
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

When we went to Niagara Falls as young children one of the things that caught the eye was a museum dedicated to the special kind of insanity required to ride a barrel over North America’s foremost cataract. (No, this is not another of the disaster articles Joel has been writing). Playing over the IMAX footage of the truly crazy was Pearl Jam, singing that they were, in fact, Still Alive. In defiance of all the odds, so are the Xavier Musketeers.

Yes, you read that correctly. Xavier is somehow still in with a chance at the NCAA tournament. What is even more shocking is that Xavier can lose two more games and still not be in the position where they need a genuine miracle. This week in Banter on the Parkway: Dispatches, I explain the methodology used to come to that conclusion and why it’s not (incredibly) far fetched to think Xavier might do it. Even a 3-9 conference start that landed at 8-10 could be enough to have Xavier dancing.

The basic gist is that Ken Pomeroy ranks a team’s chances of winning every game. If we give Xavier the benefit of the doubt and say they win every game that he has them with an over 40% chance, they could land some real surprises. Do that, and they could land close to the field of 68. What surprises? How close? To find that out you’ll have to give a listen.