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Xavier v. Dayton: Recap

What happened: Xavier 67- Dayton 68

The only logical reaction to this call
This is a particularly galling recap to write. As has been well documented, I absolutely loathe Dayton and Brian Gregory. Today did nothing to change that. Xavier, unquestionably, came out flat. Before I had fully tucked into my Subway, the score was 21-3 Flyers. Dayton seemed to be playing with six guys while Xavier seemed to be dozing. A couple of first half runs did nothing to change that. 
With 12:27 to play in the second half the Musketeers looked done and dusted. It was 54-37 and every mini-run to that point had been answered by a Dayton three. It was no surprise to anyone in the building when Tu Holloway started trying to take over the game. Following a Jeff Robinson dunk and a Holloway three, the bigs ripped off 11 of the next 16 and Xavier scratched their way back into the game.

As the team woke up on offense, the defense seemed to follow. Dayton was being denied the easy looks that were abundant early and was settling for jumpers and heavily contested layups. The Musketeers were playing with a vengeance on both ends of the court but just couldn't quite seem to get over the hump.

They did though, behind five straight from Tu Holloway. Fouled hard on a drive that tied the score at 66, Tu made the free throw and all was briefly right in the world. Only 25 seconds separated Xavier from advancing through an inferior Dayton squad and onto the semifinals. Unfortunately, Joe Demayo was on hand to assure that did not happen. 

Chris Johnson, for once held in check, missed a short jumper on Dayton's defensive end. Luke Fabrizius came up with the ball and was cleanly stripped by Mark Lyons. Never one to accept fate, Fabrizius threw both arms in the air and fell to the ground as if mortally wounded. Never one to actually be paying attention, Demayo blew the call. Myriad angles and replays later, I still can't see how that call gets made in any college basketball game. I wasn't the one on the court though and now, tomorrow, the Musketeers won't be either.

Game balls:

Tu Holloway: 23-5-2 and an amazing and one to put X up late in the game. Tu played his typical second half but, for once, it wasn't enough.

It was a really bad call though
Not so much:

The entire team went 9-14 from the line. That doesn't win close games and it didn't win this one. Add in an absolutely awful first eight minutes and you are going to lose. It's hard to blame one officiating call when you play like that for a quarter of the game.

Joe Demayo: Demayo was the lead on a really bad three man crew today. I've said before that the most important thing for referees is consistency and these guys were atrociously inconsistent. They weren't pro-Dayton and they didn't cost Xavier the game, but they were noticeably bad.

Final thoughts will be replaced by a special mid-week article detailing the adjustments necessary before the NCAAs.

Next game: TBA