Transitioning From Xavier TEAM 95 to TEAM 96!!
How do we meaningfully summarize The Muskies' 2016-2017 season and turn the page to 2017-2018? There were so many twists and turns and obstacles to overcome. The preseason predictions were exceedingly rosey(Top 10 nationally) in many way-too-early prognostications. Two veteran BIGS were gone(James Farr and Jalen Reynolds) and glue guard Myles Davis put himself into eligibility limbo. TEAM 94 had struggled down the stretch especially on defense. The high water mark was achieved in late February at Cintas with a dynamic 90-83 win over #1 Villanova.XU earned a program best #2 NCAA seed,but finished up 3-3 over the final 6 games with that crushing Round of 32 NCAA loss in St Louis to Wisconsin with Bronson Koenig's buzzer beating three pointer proving to be the final dagger.
Xavier Falls to No. 1 Seed Gonzaga in Elite 8 to End Season
The No. 11 seed Xavier Musketeers' magical and surprise run through the NCAA Tournament came to a halt on Saturday night in the Elite 8 as No. 1 seed Gonzaga controlled the game, winning 83-59 at SAP Center in San Jose. The Bulldogs move on to their first Final Four in school history while the Muskies season comes to a close, finishing with a 24-14 overall record. Xavier was led by J.P. Macura who scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds. The Zags were led by Nigel Williams-Goss who notched a game-high 23 points. Despite the Muskies season coming to a close sooner than they would have liked, they have have a lot to be proud of having won three games over higher seeded teams in the Big Dance including victories against No. 6 seed Maryland, No. 3 seed Florida St, and No. 2 seed Arizona.
Muskies Advance to Elite 8!! #1 Seed Gonzaga Next-Saturday-6:09EDT-TBS-at San Jose!!
Do the clichés apply? Is Xavier really a Cinderella after rallying from 8 points down with 3:45 remaining to take out heavily favored #2 Seed Arizona(PAC 12 Champ) 73-71 early Friday morning out West?? Granted-the Muskie "W" was a slight upset(considering the magnitude of the late comeback)-but not a lightening strike freakish stroke of luck.Actually,Ken Pomeroy gave Arizona a 97% chance of winning when they were up 8 with 3:45 left,but who believes in advanced metrics when your team defies the odds with actual human effort. Damn the computers!! It's full speed ahead to the Elite 8!! Seth Davis of CBS picked XU on the pre-game TV set.Charles Barkley was busy eating a bacon sandwich. Kenny "the Jet" Smith was worrying about North Carolina-Butler and chomping on doughnuts. Yours truly-Andy Mac-had it 72-70 Xavier in my Scouting Report on this website.
X Knocks Down No. 2 Arizona to Advance to Elite 8
The No. 11 seeded Xavier Musketeers continued their improbable run through the postseason, knocking off their former coach, Sean Miller, and his No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats, 73-71, to advance to the Elite 8 on Thursday evening at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Xavier fought back from a seven point deficit in the final minutes of the game to finish on a 9-0 run and pull off the upset. Trevon Bluiett continued his postseason magic with a game-high 25 points, matching his 2017 NCAA Tournament average for points per game. Malcolm Bernard and J.P. Macura also stepped up to play central roles in the Musketeers' victory, finishing with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Macura added seven rebounds and five assists as well. In addition, Sean O'Mara finished with a big eight points and four rebounds including the game winning basket on a post feed from Bluiett in the final 30 seconds.
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Lady Muskies Fall in Big East Tournament Opening Round
Butler's Michelle Weaver hit the game-winning shot with seven seconds left on the clock to upset No. 7 seed Xavier, 68-66, on Saturday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center. The No. 10 seed Bulldogs knocked off the Musketeers for the second time in as many seasons at the BIG EAST Tournament.
Lady Muskies Edged By GTown
Xavier women's basketball dropped it fourth straight game on Friday night, falling to Georgetown, 69-64, in overtime at Cintas Center. The Musketeers moved to 10-9 (2-6 BIG EAST), while Georgetown improved to 11-7 (3-5 BIG EAST).
Lady Muskies Pick Up Win Over Seton Hall
Senior guard Raeshaun Gaffney scored a career-high 33 points on Wednesday night, leading the Xavier women's basketball team to a 72-64 win over Seton Hall at Cintas Center. Xavier improved to 10-5 (2-2 BIG EAST), while Seton Hall dropped to 8-6 (1-2 BIG EAST). The win over the Pirates marked the first in program history for the Musketeers as they moved to 1-6 in the all-time series.
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