Xavier just lost one of the ugliest games of basketball that anyone has ever been subjected to. With disjointed offense, limited worthwhile defenses, and both teams making a good faith effort to lose, it was not an afternoon to remember for Xavier fans. If you were one of those who chose to be encouraged by the end of the Wisconsin game, this one should have tempered that excitement. The Musketeers played like total butt, got nothing from their freshman or erstwhile sophomore Elias Harden, and in general looked like a bad basketball team being bad at basketball.
Xavier did not deserve to be in this game:
That the Musketeers were in this game mostly due to Auburn’s inexplicable to bury a team that had hopped in the casket, closed the lid, lowered themselves into the ground, and was patiently awaiting the dirt. Xavier did shoot the ball with some moderate success, but they turned the ball over 21 times, had 13 assists on 24 made baskets, and spent a large portion of the game playing atrocious defense and giving up roughly half a million offensive rebounds. Quentin Goodin led the bad basketball charge, going 3-19 from the floor and turning the ball over an incomprehensible seven times. When the possession numbers come out for Xavier, know that Q wasted 23 of them on his own.
There’s a lot of fight in this team:
Xavier should have been down 20 with 10 minutes to play, but they weren’t. Auburn came to regret that, because the Musketeers fought all game long. It was not ever, at any point, pretty, but Xavier just never went away. In a game of junkyard dogs, not many teams can compete with players like Paul Scruggs and Tyrique Jones. Despite not actually playing basketball well, Xavier would not die. That says something, though it may just mean they are a tough out in the NIT.
The officiating in this game was unquestionably awful:
Don’t listen to Jay Bilas about this, or anything else, because the officials were terrible. What is it you do for a living? It doesn’t matter. If you were as bad at it as this officiating crew is at theirs, you’d be fired. They weren’t anti-Xavier or anything conspiratorial like that, they were just completely abject. They missed an obvious goaltend in overtime, they missed over the back, they missed traveling, they missed offensive fouls, they missed defensive fouls, they missed literally everything. One has to assume that a call your own fouls game would have been better for everyone involved. In any other profession, a performance like this would be cause for censure. These completely unqualified embarrassments to their “craft” will get another game tomorrow.