This would be a surprise.
The concept of the Cinderella team in college basketball is a time-honored and entertaining one, but the cream always seems to rise at the end of the year.
Blue-bloods, or big-name programs in general always win the national Just look at the last 10 national champions: Duke (twice), Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina (twice), UConn (twice) and Villanova.
ESPN analyst Tom Crean thinks that trend gets broken this year. Crean is picking Xavier to cut down the nets next spring. He is the only expert from the Worldwide Leader to do so, though Fran Fraschilla and Jeff Goodman picked the Musketeers to get to the Final Four.
You can view all of ESPN’s expert picks here.
On paper, Xavier went to the Elite Eight last season and returns an All-American candidate in Trevon Bluiett, as well as other key contributors. It isn’t crazy to think the Musketeers could take the next step, a la Gonzaga, and finally reach the Final Four.
However, history isn’t on their side when it comes to winning it all.