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Xavier v. Creighton: Reaction

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There's not time for the full recap treatment, but no one wants to be left out of a win like that. Here's a few thoughts after today's huge win.

Everyone loves Jalen.
Everyone loves Jalen.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

We have our Sunday Conversation, which you'll want to read, and a recruiting article already on tap tomorrow/today so, with the short turnaround to Seton Hall on Monday, the usual recap will not be forthcoming. That said, there's no way I was missing a chance to comment on that win.

  • I'm almost tempted to count on JMart to show up now. While still looking, of course, as enigmatic and nonchalant as one human can possibly look, he just refused to lose. In that first half it seemed like every ball off the rim landed in his hands. He was, at the very best possible time, remarkable. John Travolta in Grease wasn't as cool as JMart is right now. While Semaj and Dee bounce around, scream, and play constantly fired up, JMart is content to saunter through the best game of his life.
  • Our boy Andrew already explained why Jalen Reynolds is his favorite Musketeer, and it's clear he's not alone in that. The record crowd at the Cintas palpably readied when Jalen and roared whenever Reynolds delivered. Jalen loved the attention and was more than willing to spur the crowd on to more. If he lasts four years here, he'll go out a legend.
  • Semaj Christon is starting to look like he was born for the this sort of stage. He's averaging 16.5 points per game and is shooting 49.5% from the floor. The last time he was held under double digits was against Alabama on the 21st of December. He's gone for 20+ against Creighton twice, put up 17 against Villanova, 18 against Georgetown twice. In short, he's shown up every time the lights have gotten a little brighter. This time against Creighton he played 40 minutes and was still running at the end.
  • It's only been a year since Xavier was last dancing, but this win goes a long way to making sure that Selection Sunday is a celebration again. Handle business against Seton Hall, and this thing should be a done deal.
  • I just found out that George Lopez somehow has a new show, so this day hasn't been all good.
  • James Farr threw up the dreaded trillion today. His season averages are 5.5/4.3/.2 now, and his minutes per game are down to 13.4 and it's been month since he even approached that number. I think, frankly, it's down to the fact that he cannot defend a Big East three or four. Farr still has a role to play when this team needs quick offense, he just has to keep his mind right to be ready for it.
  • Dee Davis can play some ball. Dee plays with a swagger that and toughness that I'm not sure anyone else on the team matches. There are times when he can be bullied off the ball or rushed into bad choices, but the kid is gutty and he's totally unafraid to take the big shot. His three to make the game 66-60 and end a 9-2 Jays run was a kill shot, and he knew it.
  • Someone tweeted to us at the start of the game that Isaiah Philmore was "nothing more than a backup a-10 power forward." I'm not sure where the idea that Philmore can't play is coming from, but it's ludicrous. 8.4/4.9/.4 on .507/.000/.698 shooting is not the line of a player than can be easily replaced.
  • Wichita State isn't a one seed. They're probably not a two either. I'm sorry (not really), but when your best win is Saint Louis on the road and your best conference win is over KenPom #95 and BPI #105 Northern Iowa, you really haven't earned much. Beat someone, then get back to us.
  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to Isaiah Zierden tonight. Anyone who has suffered an injury like that knows how devastating it can be to head off a court under power that is not entirely yours. It's fun to get into games and rivalries against other schools, but no one ever wants to see an opponent get hurt. Kudos to the Cintas crowd for giving the young man a hearty hand as he limped off.
  • What was Mick Cronin wearing today? Whose couch did he kill to make that suit jacket? The way he conducted himself during the game and after it should embarrass him and his institution, but it won't. Jackass.
  • Xavier is on ESPN's highlight stream. Why? Because it's March and this is routinely when the world remembers that Xavier has a basketball team and that team is pretty good. The win today may take the nation by surprise, but it shouldn't stun anyone familiar with basketball. Yes, the anchor called it "Musketeer Arena," but baby steps.
  • Watching the team walk through the fans and seeing JMart go into the stands and hug fans is just another reminder about what a special program this is. This season may not end with a national championship, but Xavier never fails to create moments that give you chills.