For the third time this season, and the second time this week, Xavier is facing DePaul. Each game is important, but we all know that Xavier will seriously be sweating on Sunday if they lose today. To get you ready, we talked again with our friend Dan Stack, senior writer at WeAreDePaul.com and college basketball columnist for Fan Rag Sports. Dan is pretty quickly becoming our best friend with his thoughts and the fact that this is one of the few matchups in-conference that does not scare the living daylights out of me. Let’s see what he had to say.
1.) Round 3 for Xavier-DePaul! How was closing out the Allstate Arena with our last game?
Well, the game came secondary to me because it was emotional saying goodbye to a significant piece of DePaul's history. No doubt I wanted a win to go out in style, and it looked for a while DePaul fans would get our wish. However, Xavier, with so much riding on the game, predictably took over.
It was still a day I will never forget.Mark Aguirre was there and I had fun with friends old and new.
2.) Which Big East team would you most want to face in the Big East Tournament right now?
It really doesn't matter. I guess playing a team without bubble implications (i.e. Georgetown and St. John's) would normally suffice, but there would not be too much gratification in beating them. So, sorry to say this to you, but if we can play spoiler and pop a bubble against your Muskies, then we'll at least be a wee bit satisfied. We've done it before against Georgetown in 2014.
3.) Xavier fans keep sitting here hoping that Trevor Bluiett can get healthy so that he can be a beast again. What is your big "if x then y" for DePaul right now?
It's a simple equation, really. DePaul has to get solid, consistent production from Billy Garrett Jr. and Eli Cain. They need to combine for at least 30 points (preferably 40), while secondary players like Tre'Darius McCallum and a shooter like Chris Harrison-Docks need to effectively complement Garrett and Cain for DePaul to have a shot.
4.) Favorite Big East Tournament memory?
I'll only count the games I saw in person.
Well, for me personally and as I mentioned above, beating Georgetown to pop their bubble was extremely gratifying if only for a brief moment. You just don't see DePaul win too much in the Big East Tournament.
And although I did not see the whole run, I saw the beginnings of the Kemba Walker run at UConn and was there when he broke Pitt's Gary McGhee's ankles. What a performance!
5.) Game prediction?
You gotta give me one, right? I predicted a DePaul win Saturday and they failed me, so why not got to the well once again. I think it's hard to beat a team three times in one season and Xavier will have to do so twice in the span of five days-both away from home. I guess its the cautiously optimist in me to pick DePaul once again.