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Bubble Banter: Xavier misses out on a big win

Mar 7, 2014, 1:05 AM EDT

Chris Mack AP

There are 11 days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. 

Xavier finished up their regular season on Thursday night, and it wasn’t a happy occasion.

The Musketeers lost to Villanova at home, their second straight defeat, their fourth loss in the last seven games and their seventh loss in their last 12 games. They have a pair of top 15 wins, beating Cincinnati by 17 and knocking off Creighton last week, but they were swept by No. 145 Seton Hall and lost to No. 177 USC in the Bahamas.

The Muskies are 8-8 against the top 100, but they’ve been hurt by the fact that Tennessee, Providence and Georgetown have all fallen out of the top 50 in recent weeks.

Is that an NCAA tournament profile?

RELATED: Which bubble teams missed the cut in our latest bracket projection?

Maybe. It’s certainly not strong enough to be considered a lock, which is why Xavier’s season will come down to their performance in the Big East tournament. Regardless of how the final weekend plays you, the Musketeers will get a first round game against another one of the Big East’s bubble teams, and they simply cannot afford to lose it. Even then, a loss in the Big East semifinals would likely leave Xavier sweating out Selection Sunday.

THE REST OF THE BUBBLE ACTION:

Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs have a win at Oklahoma and a 25-6 record with their worst loss coming during the two month stretch when Raheem Appleby was out with an ankle injury. But they’ll need quite a bit of credit for playing without Appleby, as their RPI is weak and they have just four top 100 wins.

Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles earned a share of the Conference USA regular season title on Thursday night. They have a strong RPI (35) and a gaudy record (23-5), but with just one top 50 win and four top 100 wins to go along with a pair of sub 100 losses, USM will want to earn an automatic bid if they want in.

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