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Sunday Conversation, Sweet 16 edition

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Plus we plug the NCAA's March Madness app and discuss who we should hate more between Matta and Miller.

Ron and RJ Hunter mourn the loss of a national narrative.
Ron and RJ Hunter mourn the loss of a national narrative.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Joel
Sweet 16! Taking on Sean Miller with five days to prepare. X doing X things.

Brad
First off: yeeeeeeaaaahhhh! Man, that was awesome. I liked the Hunter's story and would have cheered for them in any other game, but we were bloodless tonight. The rest of our conference needs to wake back up.

Great finish to regulation between Butler and Notre Dame. We went: violation, timeout, timeout, timeout, 1.4 seconds of play, officials review, .6 seconds of play. Something has to be done about the pacing at end of games.

Bryan
No kidding. I almost forgot how much I hate Kelli Dunham through all that stoppage of play. I still hate him a lot though, I remembered.

Joel
Fewer timeouts would help. You get a stoppage of play every four minutes anyway; how many more do you need? I'd give teams three for the game and only let them carry two in the second half. Do your coaching in practice and let the players play during the game.

Bryan
I would say cut down reviews but they have a hard enough time getting the call right anyway. Who would have figured at the start of the season us and Butler would be the last teams in from the Big East?

Brad
I was going to answer, but your last comment is under official review, after which I'm calling timeout.

Bryan
Guess our reader(s) can catch it next Sunday Conversation. What a great cliffhanger.

Joel
Not sure we'll have a next Sunday Conversation. Doug Gottleib has it on the bubble, and most national sources agree it would be a better story if a different weekly piece advanced.

Bryan
Yeah. I heard Murray State's Sunday Conversation passes the eye test better than ours does anyway. Shame. See you guys next year.

Brad
Look everyone, topical jokes!

Bryan
I may not be much of a journalist, but I can do righteous indignation over the national media's disrespect of X. You don't hold that ace if you have it.

Joel
It's cool how we're clearly not bitter about being overlooked again. Seriously, this is five of the last eight Sweet 16s. When will they learn?

Bryan
Is it because we don't have enough "scrappy" guys? Maybe we should see if David Eckstein or Aaron Craft or people similarly poorly suited to play basketball will play for us next year.

Joel
I swear I'm not a paid endorser, but how sweet is the March Madness Live app? I'm like two taps of the screen from live video of any game I want to see, and it sends notifications of close/late situations. I know we're right in the middle of a good gripe session, but I'm really happy with this piece of technology.

Bryan
It is pretty much the best. Honestly not on the take from NCAA here, but I could not believe the streaming video was free. Also steamed radio while I was in my car so I didn't wreck people who were trying to watch.

Kelli has had better nights. Looks like we are flying the flag for the Big East now. #flagshipprogram?

Brad
I've also really liked the app, though recently it's only been showing the joint crumbling of both the conference and my bracket. I'll be honest, I wanted OSU next. Had we beaten Matta I may have exploded from sheer happiness.

Bryan
I want whichever one is further on top. They both screwed us, but the ultimate joy is showing them the grass is never greener than it is at X.

Brad
I felt more jilted by Matta and he coached the Greg Oden game, so he receives the lion's share of my vitriol.

Joel
I felt like we knew Matta was a mercenary when we brought him in. He left Butler for X to move up, and I always felt like he'd probably do the same to us one day.

Miller was a member of the staff that we promoted and he had just tearfully proclaimed his devotion to Xavier. The next day he was out the door, chasing money. That felt 100% more like a kidney shot than Matta leaving. I knew Matta was a fling; Miller felt like he could have been the one.

Brad
Didn't Matta pledge to stay the day before he signed, too? I'm not naive, but just be up front about it. I keep dreaming about winning this next game and then being one game away again.

Bryan
I agree that once you make the second weekend, every fan in the country starts dreaming that this is the squad to make it to the final four. Realistically, I know it is not entirely likely, but once you have won two, you feel like you can keep going.

Brad
Tomorrow I'm going to look at what it would take for us to beat Arizona (teaser!). It's not likely, but I do think it's possible. I'm all caught up in it now. The exciting thing is we aren't a flash in the pan. This program will be in a Final Four soon.

Joel
Once you've won that first four team weekend, you can talk yourself into winning another one. The Sweet 16 is so seductive because you go from happy to be in to invested in the idea that you can make a run. Getting out of that first weekend is the tipping point.

I do think we'll be in the Final Four soon. As long as we can get some solid point guard play next year, I think we have the personnel to replace Stainbrook moving forward, and everyone else will be a year older and ostensibly better. I saw this team as a year away this season and they're in the Sweet 16.

Bryan
The thought of what Trevon, Myles, and Jalen can do in the next two seasons, to say nothing of Remy and Wild Jim Farr coming back as seniors is exciting. I am not saying not making a Final Four would be a disappointment, because so much has to go right four games in a row for that to happen, but this program can build on this year for sure.