Xavier Men's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Xavier Musketeers
Big East (27-5, 14-4)
Xavier made some noise early in the season, beating Missouri, Michigan, Alabama, USC, Dayton, Western Kentucky, Cincinnati, Auburn and Wake Forest in nonconference play. That got them off to a 12-0 start and it was not an easy 12-0 start. Xavier’s first Big East game was at Villanova, where they lost. Months later Xavier would get their revenge over the then #1 ranked Wildcats. It was that win that turned the Musketeers from a consistent team who beat the teams they should beat, into a team that can beat anybody.
Big Wins: 11/27 vs USC (87-77), 11/29 vs Dayton (90-61), 2/24 Villanova (90-83)
Bad Losses: 1/19 Georgetown (72-81), 2/9 at Creighton (56-70), 2/28 at Seton Hall (81-90)
Coach: Chris Mack
Why They Can Surprise:
The Musketeers boast six scorers who could go off on any given night. Trevon Bluiett leads the way with 15.5 points per game and is the team’s most consistent and proficient outside shooter. Yet, Bluiett is more than a shooter and will score by attacking the basket as well. Edmond Sumner, a 6-5 freshman, has no fear going to the basket either. Those two are a huge reason why Xavier spends so much time at the free-throw line and it is extremely tough to stop any offense that can seemingly get to the line at will. Myles Davis is the facilitator and makes this offense tick. He has even developed into a great outside shooter and is one of the most consistent shooters in the Big East. He just will not shoot all that much since it is Davis who is setting up Bluiett and Sumner. The scoring does not just come from the backcourt though as Jalen Reynolds and James Farr are both bruisers in the paint who can do plenty of scoring. Those two, along with the help of Bluiett, make this one of the best rebounding teams in the country.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Davis does not deserve most of the blame, if any, but this is a team that can commit a few too many turnovers. They usually make up for it on the glass, but in the NCAA Tournament, every possession matters and Xavier cannot afford to give the ball away, especially when it leads to easy buckets the other way. Defensively, this team is tough on the perimeter with Remy Abell leading the way. Abell is not a scorer, nor will he get many steals, but he is a shutdown defender. The rest of the backcourt is solid too. The problem on defense comes in the paint where Xavier lacks a great shot blocker. Farr and Reynolds can only do so much and they can run into foul trouble when the opposition continuously feeds their big men. And there is not much depth in the frontcourt, which is one reason why Coach Chris Mack usually starts Bluiett at the power forward spot and lets Farr come in off of the bench. It is not easy to get the ball into the paint against Xavier, but for those teams that can do it consistently, they can get Xavier into foul trouble and start to dominate the paint.
Probable Starters:
Myles Davis, Junior, Guard, 11.1 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.6 rpg
Edmond Sumner, Freshman, Guard, 11.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.4 rpg
Remy Abell, Senior, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 1.5 apg
Trevon Bluiett, Sophomore, Guard, 15.5 ppg, 2.3 apg, 6.2 rpg
Jalen Reynolds, Junior, Forward, 9.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Key Roleplayers:
James Farr, Senior, Center, 10.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg
J.P. Macura, Sophomore, Forward, 9.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.0 (19th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (139, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (106, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (76, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (127, 4)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (94, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.8 (39, 3)
Rebound Margin:  7.5 (20, 1)
Assists Per Game:  16.3 (28, 1)
Turnovers Per Game:  12.8 (177, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Second Round win over Mississippi
2015    NCAA Third Round win over Georgia State
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Arizona
2014    NCAA First Round loss over North Carolina State
2012    NCAA Second Round win over Notre Dame
2012    NCAA Third Round win over Lehigh
2012    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Baylor
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Marquette
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Minnesota
2010    NCAA Round of 32 win over Pittsburg
2010    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Kansas State
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over Portland State
2009    NCAA Round of 32 win over Wisconsin
2009    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Pittsburgh
2008    NCAA Round of 64 win over Georgia
2008    NCAA Round of 32 win over Purdue
2008    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over West Virginia
2008    NCAA Regional Final loss to UCLA
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over BYU
2007    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Ohio State
*all team stats through 3/6