Xavier is not the tougher team
Neither thugs nor tough guys on the court populate the Xavier locker room right now. Butler got more loose balls and had way too many second chances on the offensive end. James Farr plays on the glass at both ends with some serious edge, but Xavier was otherwise beaten on just about every hustle play on the night. Xavier is not good enough to just outplay teams, nor can they win with bad matchups. When the game goes into the mud, Xavier has to find a way to compete down there.
The Muskies' strength should be on the inside
When they got the ball in deep position, Jalen and Matt had their way with the Butler defense in the paint. When Butler doubled or helped down, both players were able to kick out or find cutters that led to much better looks at the rim for Xavier. When the ball circulates the perimeter or someone tries a dribble drive, Xavier's offense is not nearly as effective as when they dump it inside and let the big men go to work.
We live to fight another day
Xavier will now move forward to play Georgetown in the semi-final with a trip to probably play Villanova on the line. This win puts Xavier in the tournament with no doubts, but another would sure set Xavier up nicely to get off that 8/9 line. It wasn't pretty, but all that matters in March is the result.