The time for talking is almost over, as we are mere days away from the start of March Madness, one of the most holy anticipated tournaments in all of sports. 68 teams will start their quest to be a national champion next week, but as we all know, only 1 team can win it all. Brackets will be busted, and bettors will have good days and bad over the course of the tournament, but which team will cut down the nets and bask in the falling confetti once all is said and done? There are several teams who have what it takes to be the champions of college basketball this season, but are the Xavier Musketeers one of them? Let’s take a closer look at this team. Be sure to check out the latest March Madness betting odds at our online sportsbook.
Is #3 Xavier a Winning Betting Pick for the 2018 NCAA Championship?
We won’t know how the bracket will look until Selection Sunday, after which we will have a better idea of the road that each team will need to take to the National Championship Game. As it stands right now, the Xavier Musketeers will have one of the four available #1 seeds, but how they perform in the Big East Tournament will decide if they are able to hold on to that spot. They won the regular season Big East title and will start their quest for a conference crown on Thursday with a tricky game against the St. John’s Red Storm, a team that sprung more than a few surprises during the regular season. If Xavier can make it to the conference final, they should hold on to the #1 tournament seed, making their passage a little easier.
Xavier’s Tournament History
Given how quickly players move on from the college game, it’s tough to look at the history of any school and use that as a barometer as to how they might perform in the tournament. That said, there are certain teams that always seem to get in and do well, not matter how many new players they have in a given season. This has been a great year for Xavier, and certainly their best as a member of the Big East, but can they go deep in the tournament? History would suggest that they won’t, as they have never made it to a Final Four, never mind won it all.
Performance Against Ranked Opponents
All told, Xavier played 6 games against ranked opponents this season, which will be the types of teams that they will face if they can get beyond the opening couple of rounds. They went 4-2 in those games, with both losses coming at the hands of Villanova. This would suggest that they can hang with the big boys, unless of course they end up seeing Villanova on their side of the bracket.
Can Xavier Win the 2018 NCAAB National Championship?
Make no mistake about it, this is a very good team, but can they be considered elite? I’m not so sure that they can. Trevon Bluiett has a chance to make a real name for himself in this tournament, especially if he continues to average the close to 20 PPG he did in the regular season. The problem that the Musketeers have is that they are just not strong enough on the defensive side of the court. Yes, they can score, but what happens when they run into a defensively sound team like Virginia? Elite 8 may be as far as this team goes.