Bob Stevens

Xavier earns highest NCAA seed in school history

Xavier earned its highest NCAA seed in history when the brackets were revealed on Sunday evening.

After Xavier's loss in the semifinals of the Big East tournament it was looking like the Musketeers might get bumped from the two seed line, but when the brackets were revealed on Sunday evening they ended up earning their highest seed in program history

Xavier's first round opponent will be 15 seed Weber State in St. Louis. The Wildcats  (26-8) knocked off Montana 62-59 in the Big Sky Conference Tournament championship Saturday night to earn an automatic bid. 

Weber State is ranked 132 in KenPom - 184 in offensive efficiency and 92 in defensive efficiency. The Wildcats play slow on offense, ranking 227th in tempo. They rely on the 3-pointer, especially against bigger teams. They don't have great athletes to break Xavier's defense down off the bounce.

The Wildcats are led by junior guard Jeremy Senglin (6-2, 185). He averages 18.2 ppg and is shooting 44 percent from 3-point range on seven  attempts per game. He finished with 20 points in the finals win over Montana. They run him off of a ton of screens to free him for jumpers, but he's also capable of hitting tough shots off the bounce. He's always looking to pull-up for the jumper as opposed to getting into the lane. 

Also, big man Joel Bolomboy (6-9, 230) is averaging 17.2 ppg and 12.7 rpg. However, he hasn't seen many frontcourts with the size of Xavier's. 

On defense, Weber State plays 96.6 percent man-to-man. The Wildcats have mixed in 82 possessions of an active 2-3 zone, but they seem to get overextended and out of position in it. Rebounding also becomes an issue for them in the zone. 

Should they advance, Xavier will face the winner between Wisconsin and Pittsburgh in the round of 32. 


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