Best Xavier team ever? Final judgment begins Sunday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Best Xavier team ever? Final judgment begins Sunday

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NEW YORK (FOX19) -

The Big East Conference Tournament has come and gone and now the Xavier Musketeers await their fate on Selection Sunday.

Teams are judged in March. The state of college basketball has dictated that what teams do in the NCAA Tournament will be how they're judged in the annals of program history.

As for the Musketeers, the program has experienced relative success in the Big Dance. But one accomplishment has eluded Xavier, a Final Four.

FOX Sports college basketball analyst Steve Lavin believes that for the 2015-16 Musketeers to go down as unequivocally the best team in program history it has to kick the door down and get to the Final Four.

"If (Xavier) advances and leaves the legacy in Xavier history for being the team that went to the Final Four and cut down the nets, then they'll separate themselves," Lavin said. "They can write their name in the history book and have a chapter in the rich tradition that is Xavier basketball."

This year's XU team has largely been considered the most successful in regular season history. The accolades speak for themselves: highest national ranking in program history reaching No. 5 in the AP and No. 4 in the Coaches' Poll during the season, a school-best 26-4 regular season record and 13 straight weeks in the top 10.

"I don't know talent-wise if this is the best team," XU radio broadcaster Byron Larkin told FOX19 NOW. "But they played better than any other Xavier team I've seen."

As of Saturday evening, Xavier is expected to be a two seed, according FOX Sports' Stewart Mandel. A two seed would be the best in school history.

ESPN.com and CBSSports.com both have XU as a three seed which would tie a school record set in 2003. A three seed or better would mean XU would most likely be favored until at least the Sweet 16.

"I think people are finally realizing how good of a program Xavier is," senior forward James Farr said. "We are finally getting the recognition that we should be."

What does the Xavier resume look like? These numbers are according to RPIForecast.com:

  • 3-3 against the RPI top-25
  • 3-0 against teams between 26-50
  • 6-1 against teams between 51-100
  • 11-1 against teams between 101-200
  • 4-0 against teams 200 RPI+

The Musketeers will know their seed and where they are headed Sunday around 6 p.m.

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