Musketeers Handled by Creighton in Omaha & Sunday XU Hoops Update
Andy Mac Williams,
The Xavier Musketeers lost 84-67 at Creighton on Saturday afternoon. In summary, CU played their cards perfectly w/ monster home court edge and SRO PINK OUT atmosphere. XU was hamstrung w/ BIG MAN foul trouble early and chased the score almost all game after a decent start. Brian O'Connell is a borderline brutal ZEBRA. His offensive foul call on Nunge about 5 minutes in sent XU tumbling down the rabbit hole. Muskies did not react well to the adversity. Creighton boxed their ears on the glass from outside the arc-defensively in the paint(7 blocked shots) and around the arc (Souley Boum was shot down(2 points-1-6 FG) after scoring 26 vs Creighton at Cintas 17 days ago.
A split this week is OK by me w/ solid road win at UConn. 17-5, 9-2 BE-at worst a tie for BE lead if Marquette wins at DePaul Saturday and/or PC wins Sunday at Villanova.
A response next week at Cintas is requested(PC in Cincy Wednesday-6:30 FS1) and St Johns home Saturday(5 PM-BIG FOX). Then it's a little breather before a trip to Butler Friday Feb. 10th.
Tight travel hurt going into Omaha-little rest etc. Creighton needed the win BIG TIME(now 7-3 BE) w/ home games running out. Give the Jays credit. They Let It Fly in Omaha. XU got them in Cincy.
Far from a fatal loss. Reload-refocus and rebound vs PC. Not to beat a dead horse but Brian O'Connell should contemplate another line of work IMHO. Just a suggestion!!
Sunday XU Hoop ThoughtsAdam Kunkel deserves plaudits for his play yesterday in Muskies' 84-67 loss at Creighton (max effort-floor burns-sharp shooting-6 of 9 FGs for 13 points plus 7 scrappy rebounds)-
Adam Baum's game recap in Enquirer and at http://cincinnati.com is on point and objective. Sean Miller's comments sum up a bad day-not a season defining pot hole. Still 4 total FTs for XU on just 6 Creighton team fouls is a 6 sigma aberration.
Saturday Marquette demoed DePaul 89-69 in Chicago to pull into a 1st place BE tie w/ Muskies at 9-2. PG Tyler Kolek-off the charts-24 points-10 assists-9 rebounds.
Also Seton Hall pounded Butler at Hinkle 79-49. SHU now 5th BIG EAST at 6-5. Two Games Sunday. Providence at Villanova(Noon-FS1) at Wells Fargo-not Pavilion. If PC wins, they make it a way BE 1st place tie at 9-2. Nova should be ready after 8 days off.
Semi "MUST" Win for VU(4-5 BE-7th) w/ road stops at Marquette and Creighton next week. Also-Georgetown at St Johns(MSG-not on campus)(2 PM-FS1).
Xavier slips to 27 in NET-down from 23 w/ a Quad 1 defeat?? GO FIGURE??
UC could have helped XU immensely w/ upset win at #3 Houston. Bearcats would have risen to Top 75 NET making the Crosstown Shootout win in Clifton a NET Quad 1 for X. So close!!
ESPN's Joe Lunardi has 5 BIG EAST teams in NCAA. Seth Davis says 5 w/ Seton Hall coming on strong. Fox's Mike DeCoursey-much respected HOFer-is more lugubrious with just 4 BE. Five seem solid to me (XU, Marquette, PC, Creighton and UConn so who's out?
9 games left in XU's BE schedule-5 Home and 4 Road. 9 BE wins are in the bank. Next week is HUGE w/ Cintas tilts vs PC (Wed. 6:30-FS1) and St Johns (Sat. 5 PM-BIG FOX).
PC will try to beat Muskies up and Johnnies will attempt to run XU out of the building. Ying and Yang style-wise. PC pulled off two rabbit out of the hat wins vs X last season(Bynum buzzer beater "3" at Cintas and 3OT leaky roof miracle at the DUNK. Pay back time!
St Johns wore XU out at Cintas last Feb twice including a rare Muskie give-up loss 86-73 at Cintas. Plenty of Muskie motivation for a GREAT WEEK!!!!