Xavier lost 71-67 to DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament, leaving them in a precarious spot on Selection Sunday. At the time of writing they are projected to be one of, if not the, last team in pending other results.
Xavier got out to an early lead in the first half, but DePaul used a 12-2 run to take control. They led 30-22 as a result, and DePaul led 38-34 at halftime.
DePaul took a 51-44 lead with 14:31 left, but Xavier’s responded with a 15-2 run to take a six point, 59-53, lead with 9:22 to go in the game.
The teams traded buckets down the stretches before DePaul eventually took the lead back with 4:14 left. They would never trail again, as a prolonged Xavier scoring drought allowed DePaul to take a 68-63 lead before closing out the four point win.
Tyrique Jones led Xavier’s in scoring with 22 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Zach Freemantle tied a career high in scoring with 18 points in addition to four rebounds and three steals.
Naji Marshall finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
Xavier’s Postseason Fate Now in Committee’s Hands
Xavier was projected to be one of the last four teams in the field going into the game against DePaul. Now, after taking the loss, Xavier is projected to be right on the cut line.
They had some help with Stanford losing to Cal in the PAC-12 tournament, but a lot has to go right for Xavier to make it.
They need there to be no more bid thieves, and the teams behind them, such a small Richmond and Wichita State, to get very few quality wins. It would also be helpful for teams just ahead of them, such as Texas, to not pick up anymore quality wins.
Xavier had three opportunities to pick up a win that could have locked them in the tournament. But with three losses, they will be sweating out Selection Sunday to see if they make a play-in game.