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Xavier 72-81 Georgetown: Recap

Know what happens when a team shoots badly, plays defense badly, and doesn't rebound at all? They lose.

This pretty well encapsulates Xavier's defense tonight.
This pretty well encapsulates Xavier's defense tonight.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Where do you even start with a game like this? Everything bad that could conceivably happen for Xavier did. They didn't shoot well, they didn't defend well, they didn't rebound well, the officiating was far and away the worst of the season, and the bloviating old fool Bill Raftery was in the building. If that sounds like the perfect storm it would take for Georgetown to win, it was.

This game got off to a bad start. James Farr lost the tip and Georgetown promptly jarred a three pointer. Xavier then settled in and when Edmond Sumner made two free throws, the Musketeers looked like they'd weathered an early run and would seize control of the game. It was 27-20 and the impression that Xavier was giving off turned out to be completely in error. Georgetown spent the next six minutes going on a 19-6 run to steal control that they would never give back.

A large part of that was because of the incorporeal creature that had taken possession of Tre Campbell's body. A player who came in averaging 3.5 points and shooting 30% from behind the arc absolutely went off and blasted Xavier to the tune of 17 points on 5-6 from three. I don't know what Xavier's defensive gameplan was coming in, but I promise it didn't account for Tre Freaking Campbell suddenly learning how to shoot a basketball.

That's not to say that Xavier's gameplan was successful elsewhere, because they allowed 81 points, gave up a shooting line of .510/.400/.794 and spent most of the game almost literally turning in circles while the Hoyas passed the ball around, over, and all but through them. Georgetown finished the game with 21 assists on 26 made buckets and at times passed the ball like Pep Guardiola's Barcelona teams in their pomp. For a team that came into the day eighth in defensive efficiency, this was hardly a demonstration of pedigree. Honestly, it was wretched defense.

The offense came into the day ranked 24th in the nation and set out putting the lie to that as well. A shooting line of .358/.357/.824 (hooray for good foul shooting!) isn't going to win many games at all and it certainly won't win one in which one of the best rebounding teams in the nation also contrives to get outrebounded and have seven shots blocked. Like I said to begin with, this was a perfect storm of garbage basketball happening right in front of a very loud and very enthusiastic Cintas Center crowd.

That's not to say that Xavier laid down and took this beating like kittens, they did not. JP Macura was his usual pesky self to the point that he inspired that most gutless and pathetic of calls, the double foul when he and LJ Peak got tangled up. Maybe JP deserved a foul, maybe he didn't, but it is truly the cowardly and weakminded official that can't make up his mind on something like that. Thankfully, these refs were just the spineless crew to provide that. More on that later. Xavier fought this game right to the very end. DSR banged a three with eight minutes left that would have killed most teams. Xavier was down double digits with under two minutes to play, but they didn't quit. If they hadn't missed their last five field goal attempts (when the game mattered) including three threes, they would have come roaring back in another comeback for the ages.

They didn't though. Xavier lost this game because you simply can't play like that and win without a true miracle and there wasn't one on order tonight. There was some of the most egregiously bad officiating. A foul was called every 85 seconds in the first half before the refs realized that the game wasn't enough about them and called a foul every 30 seconds for the first six minutes in the second half and every minute thereafter. The vicious throat to the elbow that Trevon Bluiett threw was clearly worth a foul, but other than that this crew was laughable in every possible way. An oversight committee would undoubtedly suspend them, dock their pay, or in some way discipline them, but there is no such thing and these guys will be marring a game somewhere else tomorrow night.

It's hard to recap a loss for a team that has lost exactly once this year when at full strength. Of course, Twitter is ablzae with hot takes about a lack of leadership, poor coaching, and a host of other things. Calm down, Xavier Nation. This team is 16-2, Coach Mack has been excellent, Myles Davis is having the kind of season that will cement him in Musketeer lore, and Edmond Sumner is even better than expected. I can go on for ages about how good this team can and will be or well things have been going. Yes, this was a violently disgusting loss, but it wasn't a season ender and it didn't come to UC or UD. Take some deep breaths and get ready, these things happen when you play in one of the premier conferences in the nation. Seton Hall comes to the Cintas on Saturday, and they're going to get a Musketeer team that will be breathing fire.