“Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t end.”
That’s not always strictly true - Villanova’s season ended last year, for instance - but it’s true the majority of the time. It will be true for 67 of the 68 teams in this year’s tournament and something on the order of 345 of the 351 teams in Division 1. It was true of Xavier’s season tonight.
Xavier’s season could have ended sometime this summer, when Myles Davis did whatever it was that he did to run afoul of the law. It should have ended against St. John’s, when Ed went down and it was clear he wasn’t getting back up. It was a breath from ending against Butler in the Big East Tournament.
Instead it ended today. Specifically, it ended behind the arc, with Gonzaga outscoring Xavier by 27 from deep during the meaningful and semi-meaningful portions of the game. With a seven-man rotation, something on the order of one and a half good man defenders, and an elite post scorer to account for, Xavier packed in a zone and dared Gonzaga to live by the three. The Zags obliged.
The Muskies never quit. JP had another really good game. Tre - back no doubt aching from carrying the hopes of an entire school for four games - couldn’t quite get it going, but he never stopped trying. Q showed how bright the future will be.
Mal and Shid will sail off into the sunset. Trevon may well follow them, taking his 1,700 career points in 3 seasons with him. This is a tough pill to swallow, but I’m proud of this team and how far they made it under challenging circumstances. If you’re a Xavier fan, you should be too.