After the narrow victory last night at MSG there seems no better time than the present to look ahead to the next time Xavier will be playing there. As things stand right now Xavier is sitting at 7th in the Big East and looking at 5 remaining conference games. With those 5 games come 4 Q1 opportunities and a chance to solidify a tournament resume. A much simpler route would be to just win the conference tourney, but even without that Xavier can solidify their resume with just a couple wins at The Garden.
Thanks to a loaded conference, any win in the conference tournament will be at least a Q2 win. At the moment those teams in Q2 are DePaul, St. John’s and Providence. If the conference season plays out as is predicted by Torvik and KenPom, X would be matched up with DePaul with a chance to add another win to the resume. That would move them up to 21 wins on the season and a Q1 opportunity in the second round.
This is where things get a little dicey. According to practically everyone, Creighton will be the team waiting for X in the second round. This game could be huge for Xavier though, a win over DePaul has X at a 9 seed with an 85% chance of making the Big Dance. A win over Creighton sees them move up to an 8 seed with 6 Q1 victories and a 94% chance of making the tournament. It isn’t a huge jump, but it would also make Xavier’s resume that much harder to beat.
Xavier sits in a good position to make the tournament and the Big East Tournament gives the team a chance to make itself a lock for the tournament by winning just a couple games.