Xavier Musketeers: Definitely 2014 NCAA Tournament-Bound

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The Xavier Musketeers lost to the No. 23 Iowa Hawkeyes 77-74 in the first round of the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis that saw the Musketeers, who were leading by seven at halftime, lose late in overtime.

This loss will be heartbreaking for the Musketeers, who hoped to sneak into the top-25 with a win. Despite the disappointing early loss after a promising 5-0 start, the Musketeers have an extremely bright season ahead of them. Their non-conference schedule includes tough games against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Cincinnati Bearcats, but unfortunately, the rest of their remaining non-conference games don’t look very good on paper.

However, the Musketeers may get a boost from the surprisingly good Big East conference.

The Big East may not be the tough conference that it used to be, but the Villanova Wildcats, Butler Bulldogs, Marquette Golden Eagles, Creighton Bluejays and Georgetown Hoyas are all potential 2014 NCAA Tournament teams. If Xavier can maintain a decent record in the Big East and finish around third place, there is a definite chance of making it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament even with a few non-conference losses.

The Musketeers are an NCAA Tournament-ready team. If they can focus and not let tough losses like the one to Iowa shake them, there is no doubt that they can make it to March Madness. Expect big things from Xavier in both the Big East and the 2014 NCAA Tournament. They’re talented enough to possibly even sneak into the Sweet 16.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google

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