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The Case for Hope: Solidifying a spot

Xavier picked up a nice Q1 road win last night and left themselves in a great place.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at St. John
Big Frosty
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

For as long as we’ve been doing these projections for Xavier’s bubble chances, this game at the Garden has been counting as a loss. The major projection services thought Xavier would lose, the line was against them, they were supposed to lose. Not a big loss, but a loss. Instead, they went to one of the most historically hostile arenas in college basketball, played a bad game, and still won. In doing so, they changed their bubble projections yet again.

Now, using the same game projections we have thus far, Xavier is basically a lock. Before any more games are played X is at an 86.6% chance of making the tournament. Using the projections we have (and, as a reminder, that’s beating Nova, beating DePaul, losing at Georgetown, and winning the last two) Xavier jumps to a 91.3% chance of making the tournament. The games left are four Q1s and a Q2.

That number puts Xavier way off the bubble. That’s not a bubble team, that’s a lock. Of course, there are five games to go before Xavier gets there. Going off just the 86.6%, the Musketeers are in a very good spot. That drops X from the eight line to the nine line, but still well inside the field. Per John Gasaway “What is the exact opposite of style points? Give Xavier those... With Xavier having entered the contest as a No. 10 or 11 seed in mock brackets, a road win against the Red Storm preserves that status quo.”

Gasaway is correct in where most brackets have the Musketeers. Per the Bracket Matrix X is a #10 seed, just off the top spot of those four seeds. Beating SJU leaves Xavier as solidly landing a bye and into the field. There is plenty of regular season left, but Xavier’s bubble status has gone from bleak to rosy.