It is, as I type this first sentence, well after midnight here in frigidly cold northeast Ohio. Temple and UCF are in double overtime, slugging it out for the chance to lose to Cincinnati tomorrow in the second round of the American tournament. Senior Isaiah Sykes of UCF has 34 points already as he fights desperately to extend his collegiate career. Just moments ago, Forrest Robinson of DePaul buried back to back threes after making only 18 all year as the Blue Demons shocked a Georgetown team that shuffled meekly into the sunset.
So the majors have started their tournaments in style. Don't get me wrong, the low and mid major tournaments are great to watch. Teams like American knock off Boston University to make the dance while Wichita State starts a minor dynasty over in the MVC. Those stories are nice, but the big boys are the ones that people tune in for. The Big East, Big Ten, ACC, and Big 12 will serve up plenty of drama as teams play their way into the tournament as other teams play their way off the bubble.
And now, that mad scramble includes Xavier. The Musketeers have worked since Bob Staak to land themselves in the middle of the national scene and now they are there. The 9:30 tipoff tomorrow, the one that everyone will be tweeting about, texting about, and talking about at work the next day as the reason they are so tired will be your very own Xavier Musketeers. Yes, someone is going to foul up the pronunciation, someone is going to act like Justin Martin always exist, and someone on Twitter is going to decide that Xavier is still a mid-major.
Ignore all that. These are your boys hitting Madison Square Garden tomorrow night. Put your blue on and wear it proudly. If watching those jerseys walk across that floor tomorrow doesn't get your pulse going, nothing will. Xavier is the national power now, Xavier is the big draw game, Xavier is the high major. We made it, now here we go.