We told you this was the biggest game in Cintas history, and it lived up to the billing. Xavier surrendered an early lead to a 7-0 Villanova run, but the Muskies got hot and carried a lead into the half. Villanova wasn't going to go away, but Xavier had the Cintas Center crowd behind them and built a double-digit lead midway through the second half.
Everyone was up for this one
Ed was getting to the bucket in transition and setting up his teammates for buckets. JP came off the bench and got Cintas rocking with an offensive explosion in the first half. Myles was dropping jumpers from monstrous range. Jalen clearly relished the battle with Daniel Ochefu in the post. I could go through the entire lineup without finding someone who didn't play his role tonight. The whole team came to play with the #1 team in the nation in the building.
The Big East race isn't over yet
Xavier is now just a game behind Nova in the loss column. On the evidence of tonight's game, you can believe that X can get Seton Hall and Creighton to finish the year. If that happens, Xavier only needs one more Villanova loss to catch pace; it's not inconceivable that Xavier could yet capture a share of the conference title.
Xavier can play with anyone
If the Musketeers execute at the level at which they're capable, nobody in the nation is safe. X has seven legitimate starters who have all found their own roles and settled into them. They have a really, really special player at the point in Edmond Sumner. Most of all it seems like there isn't a role to be played that Xavier doesn't have covered by more than one player. When Xavier comes out and plays like they can, I'll take X against any team in D1.