Joe Clark: Every time I’ve done a prediction, I wrote about what I thought the best-case scenario would be. I’m taking a less optimistic approach this year. I think the Musketeers will be 8-3 in the non-conference slate with losses to Ohio State, Memphis and Oklahoma State.
With three non-conference losses, Xavier will have to do some damage in conference play to be safely in the tournament field. I think that’s exactly what will happen, with a 14-6 conference record to finish the season 22-9. With two wins in the Big East Tournament, I think that would net the Musketeers an eight seed in the NCAA Tournament. From there, they’ll lose in the second round to No. 1 seed Texas. It’ll be a close game, but Texas guard Marcus Carr will hit a three with just over two seconds left to clinch a 76-73 victory. Paul Scruggs will be a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, and he’ll be on the All-Big East First Team along with Colby Jones. Zach Freemantle will finish on the Big East second team.
Joe Laurich: Xavier finishes with a non-conference record of 8-3 and a conference record of 13-7, which will place them fourth in the conference. They’ll be a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and lose after making a Sweet 16 run. Colby Jones will be the team MVP, while Dieonte Miles will be the biggest surprise in a breakout season playing major minutes.
Avery Strychasz: Xavier will win 21 games and make it to the NCAA Tournament.
Owen Miguel: Xavier will not make the tournament, but Paul Scruggs will have a strong season.
Jake Geiger: Xavier will go 23-8, lose in the Big East Tournament Championship and make a Sweet 16 appearance before losing.
Kate Ferrell: Xavier will go on strike and they’ll form a boy band called the Backstreet Baller.
Grace Hamilton: Xavier will go on a Cinderella Elite Eight run.
Spencer Tracy: Xavier will lose in the Big East Tournament Championship game, make the tournament, and lose in the second round.
Emily Croft: Xavier will make the tournament and lose in the Sweet 16, but Cesare Edwards will play a major role as a freshman.
Grady Boris: Xavier will finish second or third in the Big East and make the NCAA Tournament as a 9-11 seed
Hunter Ellis: They’ll miss the tournament again, and Travis Steele will be on the hot seat heading into the offseason.
Griffin Brammer: They’ll win!