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Schedule Analysis: Xavier

Xavier (17-14, 9-7 Atlantic 10)

Postseason: None

This is the final installment of a 10-part series evaluating the schedules of the 10 Big East teams for the 2013-14 season. Above record, tournament finishes are from last season.

Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova  analyses are available by clicking the links.

The Musketeers are one of the toughest teams to read this year. They finished just over .500 in an average Atlantic 10 and had some head-scratching losses (home against Pacific and Wofford) but also won some surprising wins (at Purdue, home against Memphis).

But after going to the Sweet 16 the year before, it was a disappointing season in Cincinnati and this could be another tough year.

Samaj Christon led Xavier with 15.2 point per game as a freshman last year. (Photo via bannersontheparkway.com)

Samaj Christon led Xavier with 15.2 point per game as a freshman last year. (Photo via bannersontheparkway.com)

Schedule (all times Central) 

Nov. 2 – vs. Quincy 3:00 (exhibition)

Nov. 8 – vs. Gardner-Webb 6:00

Nov. 12 – vs. Tennessee 8:00 Fox Sports 1

Nov. 15 – vs. Morehead State 7:00 Fox Sports 2

Nov. 20 – vs. Miami (Ohio) 7:00 Fox Sports 1

Nov. 25 – vs. Abilene Christian 6:00 Fox Sports 1 (Battle 4 Atlantis opening round)

Nov. 28 – vs. Iowa 6:00 NBC Sports (Battle 4 Atlantis, Bahamas)

Nov. 29 – vs. UTEP/Tennessee 12:00/6:00 NBC Sports if at 6:00 (Battle 4 Atlantis, Bahamas)

Nov. 30 – TBD (Battle 4 Atlantis, Bahamas)

Dec. 7 – vs. Bowling Green 1:00 Fox Sports 1

Dec. 10 – vs. Evansville 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Dec. 14 – vs. Cincinnati 7:00 Fox Sports 1 (US Bank Arena)

Dec. 21 – at Alabama 6:00

Dec. 28 – vs. Wake Forest 4:00 Fox Sports 1

Dec. 31 – vs. St. John’s 11:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 4 – vs. Butler 1:00 FSN

Jan. 9 – vs. Marquette 8:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 12 – at Creighton 2:00 CBS Sports

Jan. 15 – vs. Georgetown 6:00 CBS Sports

Jan. 20 – at DePaul 3:00 FSN

Jan. 25 – at Providence 11:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 1 – vs. Seton Hall 11:00 CBS Sports

Feb. 3 – at Villanova 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 8 – vs. Providence 4:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 11 – at Butler 8:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 15 – at Marquette 5:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 19 – vs. DePaul 6:00 CBS Sports

Feb. 22 – at Georgetown 10:30 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 25 – at St. John’s 6:00 Fox Sports 1

March 1 – vs. Creighton 4:00 Fox Sports 1

March 3 – at Seton Hall 6:00 Fox Sports 1

March 6 – vs. Villanova 8:00 Fox Sports 1

Analysis

Five straight home games to start the season should help get the Musketeers off on the right foot, although the Tennessee game is a toss up. The Volunteers should improve on a 20-win campaign last year and will be a tough test for Xavier early on.

Xavier also has a tough assignment in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis, taking on an Iowa team many expect to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid this year. It’s possible the Musketeers could play Tennessee for the second time in six games, but a more likely scenario is playing UTEP after a loss to the Hawkeyes.

I think Xavier wins that and then takes out Wake Forest to win a pair of games in the Bahamas before beating Bowling Green and Evansville. Then the Crosstown Classic ramps up in the Queen City. Throw the records out when those two teams play, but I like the Bearcats in that one.

Another tough game follows as Xavier heads to T-Town to face Alabama. I don’t like Xavier’s chances much in that one either. It will get a win in its final non-conference matchup when it plays Wake Forest for the second time this season (assuming a game in the Bahamas).

Conference play gets started with three straight home games and I like Xavier to get off to a 2-0 start before losing to Marquette. That starts a five-game losing streak that will include a loss at DePaul before righting the ship with a win over Seton Hall.

The schedule remains difficult, however, with three of the next four games on the road and I think Xavier will suffer another losing streak, this time four games long. I like the Musketeers to get revenge on DePaul and then upset St. John’s in the Garden.

Losses to Creighton and Seton Hall will give way to a surprising home win over Villanova to end the regular season. I don’t like Xavier’s postseason chances very much, however.

Wins: Gardner-Webb, Tennessee, Morehead State, Miami (Ohio), Abilene Christian, UTEP (Bahamas), Wake Forest (twice, once in the Bahamas), Bowling Green, Evansville, St. John’s (twice), Butler, Seton Hall, DePaul, Villanova

Losses: Iowa (Bahamas), Cincinnati (U.S. Bank Arena), at Alabama, Marquette (twice), Creighton (twice), Georgetown (twice), at DePaul, Providence (twice), at Villanova, at Butler, at Seton Hall

Prediction: 16-15, 6-12 Big East (8th)

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason

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