Xavier Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Xavier Musketeers

Big East (28-5, 15-3)

In a tumultuous college basketball season, Xavier has been one of the more consistent programs in the country. They went 15-3 in the Big East, with two of those losses coming to Villanova. And much of this group was heavily involved in the Musketeers Elite Eight run from a year ago and they expect to better that result in 2018.
Big Wins: 11/28 Baylor (76-63), 12/2 Cincinnati (89-76), 1/20 at Seton Hall (73-64)
Bad Losses: 11/24 vs Arizona State (86-102), 1/6 at Providence (72-81), 2/17 Villanova (79-95)
Coach: Chris Mack
Why They Can Surprise:
This offense is difficult to slow down since they can score in so many ways. Trevon Bluiett is one of the most prolific shooters in the nation. He has connected on 42.3 percent of his three-point attempts and enters the NCAA Tournament with 101 made long balls. Bluiett is also the main catalyst behind Xavier’s nation leading 617 made free-throws. On those rare occasions when the shots are not falling, this is a team that can attack the basket and at least get things rolling again at the charity stripe. J.P. Macura, Kerem Kanter, Quentin Goodin and Naji Marshall all spend a lot of time at the line too and are very effective once there. As a team Xavier also deserves a ton of credit for their effort on the glass. Bluiett, a 6-6 guard, actually leads the team in rebounding, but Coach Chris Mack will go nine deep and everybody will work hard in the rebounding department.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Xavier’s defense can be a bit of a problem at times. This team has won some games where both teams were in the 90s. They have no problems outscoring the opposition in games like that, but it does not take much for those high scoring wins to turn into high scoring losses. Turnovers are another potential problem area for Xavier. They do not commit too many turnovers, but they do not force many either. They can usually make up for their lost possessions in the turnover department by their rebounding prowess, but there may be times during the NCAA Tournament where Xavier will be tested on the glass and not be able to keep pace when it comes to turnovers either. Those few lost possessions could go a long way.
Probable Starters:
Quentin Goodin, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 4.9 apg
Trevon Bluiett, Senior, Guard, 19.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 5.7 rpg
J.P. Macura, Senior, Guard, 12.2 ppg, 3.0 apg, 4.4 rpg
Naji Marshall, Freshman, Forward, 8.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Kerem Kanter, Senior, Forward, 10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Key Role Players:
Sean O’Mara, Senior, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Kaiser Gates, Junior, Forward, 7.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Tyrique Jones, Sophomore, Forward, 7.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Paul Scruggs, Freshman, Guard, 4.8 ppg,1.7 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 84.5 (11th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.9 (243, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.6 (14, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (145, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.9 (153, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (76, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 78.5 (7, 2)
Rebound Margin: 7.0 (16, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.7 (20, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (148, 6)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 win over Maryland
2017    NCAA Round of 32 win over Florida State
2017    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Arizona
2017    NCAA Regional Final loss to Gonzaga
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Weber State
2016    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Mississippi
2015    NCAA Round of 32 win over Georgia State
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Arizona
2014    NCAA Opening Round loss to North Carolina State
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Notre Dame
2012    NCAA Round of 32 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
*all team stats through 3/4