When the new Big East formed a few years ago, one of the privileges they retained from the old Big East was the chance to play their conference tournament in The World’s Most Famous Arena. The fanbases of all 10 schools can descend upon the Big Apple and sit in the comfy seats of Madison Square Garden while they watch their team compete for a conference tournament trophy.
It doesn’t take a whole lot to realize that Xavier and their fans probably envisioned that they would be playing at MSG this year under very different circumstances. Understandably, I heard a lot of fans commiserating that they had to re-arrange their travel plans because they were planning on flying to New York City tomorrow when X would presumably be playing their first game. Understandably so – if the Musketeers had won just one more conference game, they would have earned a bye and we wouldn’t even be having this discussion right now. But as it is, the Ski’s are looking for their second win over the DePaul Blue Demons in as many games.
Let’s take a look at this bracket real quick. When I saw this the other day after it was finalized, I’ll be honest, I was somewhat shocked. I really don’t think it could have panned out any better for Xavier. There are a lot of predictions being thrown around, but I think a deep run is very realistic. My first thoughts on Saturday when I was breaking this down went like this:
“Well, we should beat DePaul assuming there’s no mental lapse or complete debacle. Assuming the guys can get over that first hurdle, they’ll play a Butler team who they almost beat a couple of weeks ago and who they won’t be wanting to lose to a third time in a row. Then it would be onto another winnable game against Creighton or Providence, both of whom Xavier has beaten this season. So I’m not sayin…but I’m just sayin…”
Look, the way the ball has been rolling for the Musketeers over the last month, WHO KNOWS what in the world is going to happen after tip-off tonight. X could lay an egg and their season could basically be over. OR…they could wallop DePaul as they should, get some fire under them, and roll into tomorrow night against the Bulldogs with some confidence.
You can’t get to the second game without winning the first. And that first game is tonight at 9:30 on Fox Sports 1. Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery will be on the call, and Lisa Byington will be reporting from the sideline.
X is in the city, now let’s hope they make some noise in the city that never sleeps.
In sports, just like in life, there are mountains and there are valleys. Some peaks are just as high as the deepest depths are low, and the 2015-2016 season of Xavier basketball was one of those peaks. Relative to last season, this year might seem like one of those depths; even a Mariana’s Trench to some doom-seekers. However, in the grand scheme of things, Xavier is having a season dozens of other teams would use as their benchmark. Continue reading “Dear Xavier Fans: Don’t Miss Tomorrow”
There are so many things running through my head about this game and the season in general that I am going to keep this condensed and specific to today’s affair. Simply put, this was about as winnable a game against Villanova as I thought there had been in a long time. Villanova announced shortly before the game that they would be without post-player Darrell Reynolds. His absence, causing Nova to have to play with a seven-man rotation, and the home-court advantage gave me all sorts of positive vibes at tip-off. Continue reading “Close, But No Cigar”
It’s been the same narrative for about the last month with Xavier. “They can’t win on the road and they haven’t beaten a good team yet.” “This team is doomed, they’re without some of their best players.” “Might as well just make the best of this year and get hyped for next year.” Continue reading “You Wanted a #Roadkill, You Got a #Roadkill”
Last night, after commiserating for about an hour after the heart-wrenching performance that had just been witnessed, I found myself needing some sustenance and decided on Currito. As I opened the door, the first words I heard were “life goes on” from the legendary song Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp. That caused me to stop, think, and reflect on both the game and the season as a whole. First, let’s take a look at this game. Continue reading “An Uppercut But Not a Knockout”
One of the hardest things about being a journalist (ok, blogger) is having to write after really s****y things happen. If you watched that Creighton game, well, you know what I mean. Continue reading “Xavier Drops Third Straight with Loss to Creighton”
The Xavier (13-3, 3-1) vs. Villanova (16-1, 4-1) game Tuesday was the first Top 15 Big East game of the year. The Musketeers haven’t fared well in Philly over the years, going 0-3 in their first three games there since joining the Big East and not losing by less than 13. Villanova was coming off their first loss of the season, an upset at the hands of Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Xavier was looking for their second straight win over the Wildcats, after that classic at the Cintas Center last February. Continue reading “It Was a Rough Night in Philly”
Well, there was some, uh, slightly important news today from the press conference. If you didn’t hear, Myles Davis has been reinstated to the basketball program. Look back for a post on that tomorrow, but for now, here’s what happened in today’s throttling of the St. John’s Red Storm. Continue reading “Xavier Remains Undefeated in the Big East”
One of the top-tier Big East teams played an extremely close game against a bottom-tier Big East team Wednesday night. The game went all the way down to the wire, where the bottom-feeder had a chance in their last possession to send the miracle of a game into overtime. That was a match-up in Philadelphia between Villanova and DePaul. In Cincinnati, the complete opposite unfolded. Continue reading “Xavier Opens Big East Play in Style”
Ah, it’s already that time of the year. Presents have been opened, it’s not quite New Year’s, and conference play is just about to commence. Xavier opens Big East play this year against a Providence team sans-Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil, so they won’t exactly be the same test they were last season.
Continue reading “Providence is Xavier’s First Big East Test”