Buzzer Beater Ends Xavierís Tremendous Season

In a season defined by their dominance, there have been pockets of disappointment for the Xavier Musketeers. Flat performances at Creighton, twice against Seton Hall and a stumble at home against Georgetown. The Musketeers had a tendency to start games slow and never really get things going to climb back into a game.

And they hadnít really been in a close game all season. On Sunday night, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 2 seed Xavier saw a close game. It came down to the wire, with a buzzer-beating dagger from the corner ending their season. Seventh-seeded Wisconsin advanced 66-63 with the victory.   Continue reading...

Muskies TEAM 94 Exits NCAA Too Early!!

So I expected Xavier to win Sunday in St Louis over Wisconsin and advance to the Sweet 16!! All the pieces were falling into place nicely. Huggs and Press Virginia(#3 Seed) had lost in the First Round to plucky Stephen F. Austin(#14) as I had predicted here in this space and on Willy's 700 WLW Stooge Report. I gotta be honest!! Even a blind pig finds an occasional acorn.The rest of my bracket is a complete disaster!! Either SFA or Notre Dame would be waiting in Philadelphia. Both seemed beatable.   Continue reading...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Farr, Muskiesí Defense Take Down Weber State
On a day when six double-digit seeds advanced, including No. 15 Middle Tennessee State over No. 2 Michigan State, No. 2 Xavier was on upset alert later Friday night in the NCAA Tournamentís opening round. Just a few hours earlier, they saw the Spartansógenerally considered one of the tournament favoritesógo down on the same court in St. Louis. The Musketeers were having none of that, though. Behind a dominant performance by senior James Farr, Xavier cruised to a 71-53 victory in an opening round victory over Weber State.

Scouting Weber State!! Strong #15 Seed!!
The Weber State Wildcats (from Ogden,Utah) own an impressive basketball history and a lengthy NCAA Tournament track record. I first saw Weber play-in person-at the 1995 NCAA Tourney in Tallahassee. XU would lose a tight First Round game to Georgetown and Alan Iverson (68-63) with 2 key Muskies suspended. Skip Prosser followed team rules and did not play Pete Sears and Dujuan Rose. If XU had won, their next opponent would have been Weber. The Wildcats (seeded 14th) upset Michigan State (seeded 3rd) 79-72. MSU featured guards Shawn Respert and Eric Snow(Canton McKinley HS). Xavier's PG was Mike Hawkins (Canton McKinley). It was Judd Heathcote's final game coaching the Spartans. Tom Izzo took over after that and Judd retired. Weber's been dancing 16 times coming out of the Big Sky Conference. Current coach Randy Rahe has won 202 games over the last 10 years with 5 regular season Big Sky Titles. This is his third NCAA automatic berth.

Muskies Split in NYC! Sparkle On Selection Sunday!!
Going into the Big East Tournament, I wrote that Xavier just needed to win their Quarterfinal Game to secure an NCAA#2 Seed. And that's the way things turned out(90-72 victory over Marquette late Thursday) although most of the pundits had XU sinking to the 3 line after the semi-final loss to Seton Hall(87-83). Muskie metrics held up pretty well despite two losses in 12 days to SHU. XU finished #9 in the Final AP Poll,#7 in RPI,#14 in BPI and #15 In KenPom. Xavier beat everybody in a strong Big East at least once. They won 6 BE road games. X never lost two games in a row. There were no truly bad defeats and plenty of lopsided wins over good teams(Dayton,USC,Alabama,) plus that watershed victory over Villanova with a totally healthy Daniel Ochefu.

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X Women Dropped by Butler in BE Tourney
No. 8 seed Xavier women's basketball had three opportunities to score in the final 14 seconds, but all three attempts fell short as the Musketeers were defeated by No. 9 seed Butler, 48-47, in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament.

X Falls at Home to Seton Hall
Xavier women's basketball dropped its regular-season home finale on Sunday afternoon as Seton Hall escaped Cintas Center with a 72-67 victory. Trailing by eight, 63-55, with just over five minutes left in regulation, the Musketeers (17-10, 8-8 BIG EAST) used a 12-4 run to tie the game at 67 on a pair of Aliyah Zantt free throws. An Aleesha Powell free throw on the following possession gave the Pirates (20-7, 10-6 BIG EAST) a one-point lead with 47 seconds on the clock.

Red Storm Outlast XU Ladies
Xavier out scored St. John's in second half on Friday night, but could not overcome an early deficit as the Musketeers dropped a 69-56 contest at Cintas Center. The Musketeers (17-9, 8-7 BIG EAST) out scored the Red Storm (19-7, 10-5 BIG EAST), 32-25, in the second half to get within six points on a Briana Glover layup with 7:57 left in regulation. St. John's posted an 11-4 run to end the contest to win its second straight game and remain in second place of the conference standings.

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