On Monday, the analytical geniuses over at Marquette blog Cracked Sidewalks threw up this post on how many more wins each Big East team would need to make the tournament. Before you click through - and remembering that this post only included win/loss numbers through Monday - what would you think Xavier's number would be?
If you guessed that Xavier doesn't even need a .500 record in conference to have a tournament resume, the numbers back you up. You can click through to read more, but the long and short of it is that X could be at 8-10 in Big East play and have a compelling case for the tournament - though frankly probably not a good seed - based on recent bubbles and this year's assortment of almost good teams.
It's not ideal, but it is a nice security blanket to hug during these trying times.
Just winning the remaining home games puts Xavier on target for that goal. Providence, Nova, DePaul, and Butler remain on the home slate. KenPom gives X a 2 out of 3 chance at winning each of the Providence and DePaul games; those are business to be taken care of.
That leaves Nova and Butler, both of which Pomeroy calls as one-point games for the Muskies, sporting 51% and 49% win probabilities in those games, respectively.
Two winnable battles. Two coin tosses. It won't be easy - it never is in the Big East - but the rewards are there for the taking. If Xavier and the home faithful can make Cintas a fortress, the Muskies have a leg up on their bubble competition.
The battle to defend Cintas begins Saturday against Providence. If you want to be there, snag some tickets here from the nice people on StubHub, who help sponsor our website.