Matt Stainbrook is looking spry
Creighton did not have a single player capable of defending Stainbrook one-on-one, and the Bluejays' double-teaming strategy left the big man plenty of spaces in the defense to exploit. He scored a career-high on his way to 26/9/3 on 11-14/0-1/4-7 shooting, and he fouled out just about every one of Creighton's big men. He didn't make a lot of friends in Omaha, but he was incredible for Xavier in a game they couldn't afford to lose.
Larry Austin Jr is Dee's heir
With Dee out through foul for most of the first half, Larry Austin, Jr. came onto the floor and gave Xavier excellent minutes. He had a first half line of 4/0/0 on 1-2/0-0/2-2 shooting, but most importantly he did not turn the ball over at all. He picked up three fouls in the first half, just like everyone else did. LAJ worked well off of ball screens, showing a tight, low dribble and good patience, and he also knocked down a long jumper when both defenders went under. The point guard position might be his to lose at the start of next season.
We're probably dancing
Xavier is 19-12 and has piles of good wins. With that game today, they avoided a really bad loss that the resume couldn't afford. Butler is a tough game but not a horrible matchup for Xavier in the first round of the Big East tournament. Xavier could move up with a win there, but even a loss probably doesn't bounce X to the NIT.