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A lot of history will be made on Wednesday:- The 2 schools tied with each other with the best record in the
country currently (24-3) will be playing each other.- Xavier has not beaten Villanova since joining the Big East.- Cintas Center has never hosted a game between top 5 teams and
never hosted a game involving a #1 ranked team.- In school history, Xavier has never played in a game where both
teams were ranked in the top 5.- Xavier has beaten the #1 team in the nation 3 times in program
history. Wednesday night they will try for a 4th.- With Edmund Sumner leaving with a concussion 2 minutes into the
first game, Villanova has never played 40 minutes against this Xavier basketball team.
I think it's obvious to Xavier fans and
well-informed hoops fans around the nation that Xavier has become a top college
basketball program. Just one time in the last decade has Xavier not made the
Tourney (and that was the year the best player was hastily expelled from XU).
But there’s been a growing feeling that there is a level of respect we still
lack. The Top 25 Polls are mostly a joke as we all know, but more so to a
Xavier fan than the average fan. Why? Nearly every year, Xavier starts
the year unranked in the polls and finishes ranked. It is crazy how this
consistently happens year after year. Why the lack of the respect?
Certainly Xavier not having a Final Four appearance yet is a part of it. The
fact that ESPN's TV deals don't include the Big East Conference doesn't help.
ESPN would be going absolutely crazy with coverage leading up to this game if
it was carried on ESPN instead of Fox Sports. I’d like to also note that
so many of the sports writers and analysts out there now seem to carry
biases with them toward the traditional power conference teams. The examples
showing this are everywhere so let’s not dive into all that here. From looking
at the resumes and watching the schools, there’s no way you can rank Xavier
behind anyone other than Villanova and Kansas at this point in the season. Does
that and do rankings ultimately matter? No. March (and early April) is all that
really matters. If X is not getting the respect they
deserve as a top program, then a win against the #1 team in the nation and a Final Four run
is the formula to start earning that respect.
Xavier has the coaches, the
rebounders, the scorers, and the depth to beat anyone in the country. What
better place than here? What better time than now? Let’s kick the door in!
Let's make history! Let's Go Muskies!
In : Game Recaps, Notes, Previews, etc.
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