This is an exhausting time of year to be a college basketball fan. The first bids to the NCAA tournament will be earned tomorrow, conference tournaments are in full swing in the low majors and the mid and high major conferences are all finishing conference play with teams still jockeying for seeds and vital final regular season wins.
More pertinently, Xavier is on the bubble this year. That means that bid thieves, high-majors losing, high-majors winning, mid-majors doing mid-major things, and a lot of other results matter for the Musketeers. Even the AAC conference tournament (airing on, I believe, The Ocho) could end up making a difference to Xavier and where they could land in the Big Dance. To that end, here are the resources you need to follow your favorite team.
Banners on the Parkway
Yes, I’m aware that is this site and that this is, as Greg Hoard on Fox 19 called it a great many years ago, shameless self-promotion. After every Xavier game we will give you The Case for Hope, a rundown of where Xavier stands on the bubble, what scenarios matter, and how leading bracketologists see Xavier’s chances. Daily until Selection Sunday we will also have a Bubble Watch that breaks down the rest of the important action in college basketball.
If you have time for only one other stop, make it Bracket Matrix. There is no analysis, no narrative, just a compilation of numbers. Up to 133 different brackets are scanned each day and each team’s seed in that bracket is shown, as well as where the aggregate lands that team. It’s neat, it’s clean, it’s an easy way to see where X is right now.
Bubble Watch/March Madness
ESPN has a mixed reputation when it comes to college basketball coverage, but their daily Bubble Watch is a great resource. John Gasaway has taken over from Eamonn Brennan in keeping tabs every single morning on what changed overnight in every conference in the nation. It’s a herculean task handled well. For more in depth insight and articles from the sites covering those teams, SB Nation’s March Madness also updates every day.
Bracketologists and Warren Nolan
These sites breaks down each team exactly as the Selection Committee will see them. Warren Nolan has the full nitty gritty sheet (their word, not mine) on each team. That is literally what the committee will have in front of them on selection weekend. Bracketologists breaks that down further into a somewhat easier to read look at the NET and where the resume stands each day.
KenPom and Bart Torvik
These are the best metric sites, hands down. KenPom was early to the world of NCAA basketball. There you can find essentially every number you would like about Xavier, as well as historical data on where the cut line falls as simply as clicking through each season. Over on Bart Torvik the teamcast tool lets you simulate out every possible result and see where that puts any given team on the bubble based on historical data.
That’s a lot of clicking around and it can take some time to look at everything, every day. Our Case for Hope and Bubble Watch will have the Xavier-centric look every time it changes. It’s March, though, why not scan it all?