Location: Cincinnati, OH

Conference: Big East

Mascot: Musketeers

Coach: Chris Mack

Record: 21-13 (9-9 Big East)

Kenpom ranking: 26

Good wins (Kenpom ranking): Georgetown x3 (21) Butler x2 (23) Cincinnati (34)

Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): DePaul (163), @ Auburn (142) Long Beach State (138)

Tournament appearances: 24 (current streak: 2)

Best result: Elite Eight (2, most recent: 2008)

NBA alumni: David West, Jordan Crawford, Brian Grant

Best name: Myles Davis

Famous alumni: John Boehner, Jim Bunning

Xavier went 9-9 in Big East play and had several really bad losses -- and got onto the upper half of a bracket. Our point isn't to criticize the Musketeers, but rather to highlight how much wheat and how little chaff is in the Big East. Matt Stainbrook is one of the goofier stars in college basketball in personality and playing style, so they're rather watchable.

Style of play: X marks the paint

The Musketeers try to shy away from threes, and it makes sense: they have a pair of distinct, but equally deadly options down low in post-up center Matt Stainbrook and his stringier companion Jalen Reynolds. The Musketeers shoot 53.9 percent inside the arc, 20th-best in the nation. Point guard Dee Davis really runs the show, though, assisting on over a third of the team's baskets while on the floor.

Key player: The Staintrain

Matt Stainbrook doesn't look like a hoops star: He's 6'10, but he's chunky, not lanky, and he wears glasses. But the senior who transferred from Western Michigan has a silly ability to toss the ball into the hoop in a variety of ways -- hook shots, midrange jumpers, he's got an arsenal. (And yes, he really does approve of the nickname "Staintrain.")


Stainbrook's younger brother, Tim, joined Xavier as a teammate, but as a walk-on. The elder Stainbrook, enrolled as a grad student, realized his tuition would be about $14,000, way less than Tim's $40k undergrad. So he asked coaches to give his brother his scholarship and got a job to pay for his classes. That job? Uber driver, as ESPN's Dana O'Neil reports. "The best comment I ever got was, 'Good driver, better hook shot'"