#78 Xavier Musketeers: College Basketball 111 in 111

xavier-mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Year in and year out, the Xavier Musketeers are a perennial mid-major power.  They can compete with some of the best power conference teams around and always test themselves with a challenging non-conference schedule.  This season will be a year of transition for Chris Mack though as X loses all five of its starters including Dezmine Wells who was recently expelled from the school.

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College Basketball’s Most Disappointing Teams This Season

xavier cincinnati fight

Since we have reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-2012 college basketball season, we can begin to dissect which teams have gotten off to rather disappointing starts and are struggling as conference play has begun.  Here are some teams who have drastically underachieved and what has been the root of their problems.

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College Basketball: The Week That Was (12/19/11)

indiana beats kentucky

College Hoops 101 has undergone a facelift.  My weekly breakdown of the past week in college basketball and look ahead will now be split into two parts.  Since I was enjoying a much needed week vacation in Mexico, here is a glance at the past two weeks of games I watched.  The numbers are uncharacteristically low but when you are on a beach everyday in 80-plus degree weather, you don’t really want to be inside watching hoops.  Yes, I just wrote that.  This week’s edition includes my thoughts on the Xavier/Cincinnati brawl, Indiana’s upset of Kentucky, and my Dunk of the Week.

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Analyzing all 9 Undefeated College Basketball Teams

syracuse-orange

Nine undefeated teams left in all of college basketball. And none of them are named Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Duke (I listed them twice because ESPN loves them so much), Ohio State, Florida or Kansas.

In other words, if you’re still undefeated at this point of this season, you are legit- at least to some extent. By mid December, pretty much everyone has played in a conference “challenge” event and participated in a Holiday tournament. if you didn’t pick up an L in either of those situations, then you likely suffered a setback in some quality opponent non-conference scheduling.

Yes, most of the games up to this point have been cupcakes, but no one has really been able to feed on just  cupcakes for over a month. Let’s run through the 9 remaining perfect teams, in order of AP poll ranking.

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College Basketball: The Week That Was (12/5/11)

vander blue marquette

College Hoops 101 is undergoing a facelift.  My weekly breakdown of the past week in college basketball and look ahead will now be split into two parts.  Here is a glance at the week that was including my thoughts on the Kentucky/North Carolina and Marquette/Wisconsin games, and my Dunk of the Week.

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#12 Xavier Musketeers: College Basketball 111 in 111

xavier mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Xavier Musketeers enter this season as one of the elite “mid-major” programs in the country.  Actually, they have become a major program competing in a non-power conference.  X has captured five straight Atlantic 10 titles and won at least 24 games in each of those seasons.  That level of success should continue this season with three starters returning and the addition of several key newcomers.

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Big East On The Way To Becoming Hoops Only Conference?

big east logo

With Syracuse and Pitt selling out and heading to the ACC, the Big East is in serious jeopardy of disbanding as a football conference; especially if the rumors are true that UConn and Rutgers will soon follow suit.  With football being at the forefront of these super conference realignments, the most competitive basketball conference in the country is losing elite programs, but could still survive as a hoops only league.

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99 in 99: #26 Xavier Musketeers

xavier musketeers

Xavier is in that Memphis/Gonzaga/Butler category of technically being a mid-major, but not really being a mid-major.  Year-in and year-out, they are a Top 25 team and despite having to replace dynamic scorer Jordan Crawford, this season should be no different for the Musketeers.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors.  Click here if you missed teams #27-#99.

By: David Kay
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NCAA Tournament Preview: Minnesota vs. Xavier

By Mike Gallagher

So begins the most exciting sports event of the year.

Yeah, there’s the Super Bowl, the MLB playoffs, the BCS, but none compares to an event like this.  There’s simply nothing else like it. [Read more…]