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Xavier Moves to the Big East Semifinal: Three Things we Learned

Xavier was way too much for Marquette to handle and took care of business on their return to MSG.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier has, at times, struggled to score this season and kept lesser opponents in games far longer than they perhaps belonged there. One such opponent was Marquette in their meeting at Cintas Center, but the Musketeers came out and dominated from tip to buzzer tonight.

When Xavier shares, they can't be stopped

10 different Musketeers scored tonight, which might seem like statistical minutia, until one considers that 7 of them had 6 or more. Xavier assisted 20 of 35 made baskets and had 7 different players pick up assists. No matter how you slice it, Xavier did an excellent job of sharing the load tonight, which helped them bring all their various stars into play against an overwhelmed looking Marquette defense. There is a chance that Xavier could run into a team with a lockdown ball defender or two in the next month, but when they pass like they did tonight, Xavier forces a team to guard all 5 positions on the floor, which not many can do well enough to stop all of Xavier's scorers.

O'Farrnolds is the class of the Big East

Marquette's strength was in ther backline of Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson, who were pretty soundly outplayed tonight by Farr, Reynolds, and a late boost from O'Mara. Marquette's bigs went for 24 and 12 on 8-20 from the floor, while O'Farrnolds posted 19 and 13 on 13-22 from the floor. Ellenson struggled with fouls all night, part of which was because he thought he could guard Trevon Bluiett 20 feet from the basket, and Xavier outrebounded Marquette at both ends tonight, negating the Golden Eagles' greatest asset.

Myles may be becoming the new Stanley

Now I recognize that Myles and Stanley have much different strengths and weaknesses as far as playing style, but the impact they have on their teams is remarkably similar. Burrell was rarely singles out for any type of postseason acoolades, made all the more ridiculous that we were in the A-10 then, but few could doubt that he was among, if not outright Xavier's most important player. Fast forward 8 years and Myles Davis's name wasn't called for any of the Big East's postseason awards, not saying it should have been, and yet at MSG there was perhaps no one in white as instrumental in the absolute demolition job Xavier put on tonight as Davis. You aren't going to see a lot of national publications hyping him up for big awards next season or a future in the NBA, but for now Myles might just be the heartbeat of the best Xavier team we have ever seen.