Before Xavier even plays this Thanksgiving they have already shored up plans for next year. If planning for holidays well ahead of time is your thing, the Musketeers already have your watching needs sorted.
The rest of the field is headlined by Florida, Miami, and Penn State. Powers from mid-major conferences include UConn and St. Joseph’s, with low majors Towson and Missouri State rounding out the teams traveling to Charleston over the break.
Storylines and opportunities for good games abound, with possible matchups against Miami and Florida probably whetting the appetite (Thanksgiving pun!) the most. Renewing an old rivalry with St. Joe’s, who are still coached by Phil Martelli, may not carry the cachet of the other games, but it would make the 43rd time the teams had met. The Hawks are Xavier’s ninth most common opponent since 1949. Missouri State may not be a marquee opponent, but they would give Xavier fans a look at Jared Ridder, who committed to Xavier before a desire to stay closer to home landed him back with the Bears.
While the rest of the world watches football on Thanksgiving, Xavier fans have become accustomed to fighting off the afternoon nap with a dose of basketball. Next season won’t be any different, and once again the Musketeers will be playing games against big name programs.