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The Case for Hope: Checking for a pulse

Xavier lost their last chance to easily clinch a bid, but the outlook isn’t as bleak as you think.

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier is overdosing right now. They have collapsed under the high they chase caused by their own turnovers, missed free throws, and inexplicable three point shooting and are desperate for a lifesaving dose of Narcan/basketball hope. Right now, it’s easy to see the Musketeers as beyond saving, but a check of the vitals shows that things aren’t as bad as they appear.

Losing last night didn’t help Xavier, don’t get me wrong. The Musketeers were in the tournament with a win. It was that simple. Instead, they somnambulated through the first five minutes, took 23 threes, and shot 60% from the line in a one point game. All along though, we've said two wins in the last four games should be enough for Xavier. They got those, so is it?

Per Bart Torvik, yes. Torvik's Teamcast tool still has Xavier as a 10 seed, albeit the last one, with a 71% chance of making the tournament. That's good for one of the final byes and missing Dayton. Over on Bracket Matrix, 96 of 99 brackets have Xavier in the field and on aggregate high enough to avoid Dayton. Joe Lunardi is one of the three with Xavier out and his opinion has gravity, if not a lot of associated success.

That brings us to John Gasaway's eloquent summation of Xavier's predicament, "the Musketeers find themselves in a quandary of their own making... the Musketeers will play Quad 2 DePaul in the opening round. Not a good spot for a projected No. 10 seed." Xavier finds themselves in the tournament right now, but also in the middle of a slide. One more loss and they are right on the cut line. Things are still ok, but black out one more time and there might not be enough left to bring this season around.