clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nobody has been better than Xavier since Thanksgiving

The Muskies compiled some "good losses", then just stopped losing at all.

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Xavier
Hooray for good results!
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball is a results game. When you're building a resume, all that matters is whether you won or lost. Once you make the tournament - whether you were Nationally Invited or went to the NCAA version - the situation becomes even more binary: either you win, or your season is over. So when Julian Strawther launched about 55 feet of jump shots that resulted in 6 crucial points for Gonzaga on November 27th, the result of a loss for Xavier was embellished with no "moral victory" silver linings.

Since then, Xavier has been scalding hot in a way that nobody else in Division 1 has matched.

Only 6 teams have gone undefeated in that span: Xavier, Kansas, UCLA, Utah Valley, Florida Atlantic, and Charleston. There's a pretty clear divide there that I trust I don't need to point out, but you can only beat the teams in front of you, and kudos to each of those clubs for doing so.

In going undefeated since the Thanksgiving weekend, Xavier has accumulated 3 Q1 wins and 4 Q2 victories. Between the three of them, Utah Valley, Florida Atlantic, and Charleston have compiled 2 Q1s and 4 Q2s. They average 1.9 WAB added to their season tally; Xavier has added 3.9 WAB on their own.

Speaking of WAB, those 3.9 wins above bubble for X are the most of any team in the time period. A resume that was begging for some burnishing has gotten it in spades over the last 6ish weeks. Kansas is second with 3.7, and UCLA is next with 3.3. Nobody else has grabbed 3 or more.

This 10-0 surge has been exactly what Xavier and Sean Miller needed to put the program firmly back on the rails. After four years of not making the NCAA Tournament, Muskies fans are eyeing up the Bracket Matrix and googling host sites with legitimate anticipation for the first time in far too long.

There's still work to do. Last season, Xavier was doing fine right up until they weren't. You're never in until you've won the automatic bid or you've heard your name called on Selection Sunday.

For the moment though, the Muskies are an absolute flamethrower. The stakes only get higher from here.