First, the news:
More coming about this on https://t.co/XUMvPtOIef, but Xavier's roster will be cleared by mid-week and the Musketeers have been given the green light to pursue additional non-conference games to replace BE postponements that won't be made up. XU is looking for a game this week. https://t.co/ePOQC41sXU— Adam Baum (@AdamJBaum) February 8, 2021
I think this drops Xavier to 13 Big East games between the 6 they've played and those remaining on the schedule, pending further cancellations. Xavier has apparently had enough, and the league is apparently on board.
So who(m) should Xavier schedule? I don't think it makes sense to pick up another buy game against a local game unless the staff thinks the team just needs to knock off the rust after getting one game in a month. If the Muskies want a team on par with DePaul, Akron doesn't play until Friday - maybe they'd be open to a Wednesday game? Ohio U is off until the 16th, so they're wide open.
Both Cincinnati and Dayton have full weeks, so thumping a local rival is out.
I've seen the name Loyala Chicago thrown around - and they'd certainly be a great game for Xavier - but they have a back-to-back on the weekend with Drake, so I doubt they're looking for extra trouble right now.
The problem is that most teams are either packed with games because they're trying to shuffle a season into a pandemic or shut down because they've tried to shuffle a season into a pandemic. Xavier's trump card is Mario Mercurio, the best in the scheduling business. If there's a game to be found, he'll make it happen. Travis Steele said that this group of guys will play anybody, anywhere. We're about to put that to the test.