How about that game? I figured Xavier would be able to beat a good Michigan team; I didn't think they could go in there and control the game from basically ten minutes in through the final horn. Michigan made a couple of runs, but danged if Xavier didn't handle every one of them and walk off the floor deserved winners.
LAJ is a huge asset
It wasn't that long ago that I was harboring some concern regarding Larry's standing on this team going forward. Then Edmond Sumner grabbed a couple of quick fouls in the first half and Austin, Jr. was summoned from the bench. All he did was grab nine minutes of playing time and go for 2/0/1 while initiating the offense flawlessly, protecting the ball, and giving Remy Abell a break from chasing the incandescent Caris LeVert. I can't imagine many teams bring a point guard off the bench that I would be more confident in than I am in Larry.
This team is crazy deep
Xavier put four guys in double figures without getting Edmond Sumner or JP Macura there. James Farr continues to look like the ideal bench big man, bringing toughness, rim protection, and rebounding to go with just enough offense. The whistles went south on Xavier in the second half, but the Muskies had a sub for stray whistle, an answer for every Michigan bucket, and ultimately the right personnel for every situation they faced.
This could be a special season
It's not easy to go into a ranked opponent's house and take it to them, and Xavier did just that today. The Muskies flexed a really varied set of skills as a team here: interior scoring, ball control, distance shooting, rebounding... almost even defense, really. The NCAA tournament is all about getting the right matchups, and Xavier played tonight like a team that's going to be able to make a lot of matchups look favorable.