The Xavier Musketeers earned a 1-seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, but ESPN’s BPI formula suggests they may not be worthy.
Xavier finished with a 28-5 record and a Big East regular season title this season, earning a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament for their efforts. ESPN’s BPI – or Basketball Power Index – only sees the Musketeers as the 13th-best team in the country, however.
ESPN’s BPI has 12 teams ahead – Villanova, Virginia, Duke, Purdue, Cincinnati, Michigan State, North Carolina, Kansas, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Wichita State and Texas Tech. Here’s more on BPI:
The College Basketball Power Index (BPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of performance going forward. BPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Strength of Record (SOR) is a measure of team accomplishment based on how difficult a team’s W-L record is to achieve. Game predictions account for opponent strength, pace of play, site, travel distance, day’s rest and altitude, and are used to simulate the season 10,000 times to produce season projections. Numbers update daily.
Xavier has the seventh-best offense, per BPI. The Musketeers have the 56th-best defense.
Xavier is the 3rd weakest team to be a 1 seed since 2008 per BPI. Despite not being high in predictive metrics, the Musketeers earned the 1 seed, evidenced by having the 4th best strength of record (SOR). https://t.co/Mba0CTUDl5
— Paul Sabin (@SabinAnalytics) March 12, 2018
Another factor – there weren’t really any other major contenders for the fourth 1-seed. UNC, which had 10 losses on the year, was being discussed as a possibility. That tells you all you need to know.
Xavier did win a number of close games, and as a result, some think that they might have an inflated record. That being said, a team that is accustomed to winning close games has a serious advantage in March.
Xavier already had plenty of reason to prove their doubters wrong heading into the tournament. Now, they have a bit more.