I couldn’t help but think of a couple of old Cincinnati Enquirer articles after yesterday’s college basketball action.
On January 22, columnist Paul Daugherty asked, “Has Xavier outgrown the A-10?,” worrying that the Muskies were “too dominant.”
Then February came, and XU lost to Duquesne, Dayton and Charlotte. Yesterday they finished up with a 80-75 loss at Richmond in a meaningless game (they’d already clinched the top seed in the conference tournament). The Enquirer’s Shannon Russell wrote that “Xavier played its final regular-season game like a team with nothing to lose “ which is perhaps why it did.” But shouldn’t that be “nothing to win?”
Meanwhile, remember when Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin called out ESPN’s Joe Lunardi for leaving UC out of “Bracketology”? Then 17-8, the Bearcats promptly lost five of its next six games in the challenging Big East, including yesterday’s finale at home against Seton Hall. Maybe Daugherty could get them to switch conferences with Xavier?
Still, UC might be good for an early upset in the tournament, while Xavier, which isn’t playing for a bid, could get knocked off in the A-10 just like last year – they’ll probably face Temple or St. Joe’s in the semis, with the tournament being played in Philadelphia-friendly Atlantic City.
Still some college basketball action going on right now – Niagara just beat Rider in double overtime, Gonzaga’s making the the Vegas Sports Books look conservative against Santa Clara (it’s
79-43 92-57) while Patty Mills is about to return for St. Mary’s against Portland.
Here’s a weird little postscript (literally): with the WCC tournament ending tomorrow night, and the NCAA tournament not starting until March 19th, St. Mary’s has scheduled an extra regular season home game for next Friday.