#78 Xavier Musketeers: College Basketball 111 in 111

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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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Xavier Musketeers PG Tu Holloway headed to NBA? (combine video)

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Xavier Musketeers point guard Tu Holloway benefits this June from being in a very weak point guard draft class. He’s not a blue-chip prospect, but he’s better than much of the competition. What works against him is his height. His lack of size turns off some NBA scouts. Holloway made the cut for the combine, and met the media yesterday.

How’s the process going for him? Watch after the jump

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Buckeyes, Musketeers, Bearcats, Bobcats: Ohio basketball bonanza

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When it comes to college basketball, the state of Ohio is the anti-Illinois. There may be no Midwest swing in the region’s most populous state this year (the Land of Lincoln) but there’s plenty in the Buckeye state.

The birthplace of aviation has seen their teams soar in the NCAA Tournament this year, as they went 8-0 on the first weekend. They comprise one fourth of the sweet sixteen: the Ohio Bobcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, Xavier Musketeers and Ohio State Buckeyes.

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Notre Dame is really overseeded at #7, pick #10 Xavier

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Last year, Notre Dame leader Mike Brey was named national coach of the year, and deservedly so. This year, he did an even better job. Because he had so much less talent to work with. The Irish (22-11), picked for ninth in the Big East Conference back in October before star player Tim Abromaitis was lost for the season in November with a knee injury, came on strong to finish third with a 13-5 league record.

It was “Ewing Theory” in it’s finest form, because despite losing the only player with any accolade, the Irish weren’t far off (at least in Big East play) from last year’s squad, which earned a #2 seed close to home after being in the discussion for a #1 seed and ranked in the top 5 nationally towards the end of the season.

Last year’s Irish team looked like they could make a lot of noise in the tourney if their shooters stayed hot. It didn’t happen though, as the Irish choked, and got upset by #10 seed Florida State in the SECOND round.

This team on the other hand, looks likely to go nowhere in the big dance.

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Championship Week: Mid-Major Mania

Where did a whole year go? I swear it was just last night that Kemba Walker led the youthful UConn Husky Puppies to a National Championship.

March always sneaks up on us, but this year seems different. Maybe it’s because I live in Wisconsin and we are just now starting to see snow.

I don’t know what it is, but I like it.

March marks the start of tournament time for college basketball, which means a decline in workplace productivity, an increased demand for paper, and attention-deprived significant others who “hate this time of year,” yet end up winning your pool after picking the correct national champion based on their favorite animal. Simply put, March is unparalleled by all 11 other months put together.

This guy would agree.

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College Basketball’s Most Disappointing Teams This Season

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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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