This game is headlined as a showdown between the best player to ever don a Xavier uniform and the man who wore a Xavier uniform that was too big for him and hit the most famous shot in the school’s history. A trip to the Final Four was on the line and both stars were determined to take their teams to glory.
The game began with Crawford finding an open Dante Jackson (9/3/5) for three before Jackson notched an assist of his own to Jason Love (10/8/3) who converted in the lane. Terrell Holloway (14/1/3) made a tough bucket in the lane then set up Jamel McLean (15/8/1) for an easy dunk. During this stretch, 2003 got precious little on offense and David West (29/8/2) didn’t even score until 6 minutes had run off the clock.
Jordan Crawford (19/1/3) hit jumpers on consecutive possessions to push the 2010 lead out to 21-7 to start the game. Crawford stayed hot, first setting up Frease (10/8/0) for a dunk and then making a reverse layup to make it 25-11. The teams then traded possessions before 2010 closed the half on a 21-10 run. The run was led by the duo of Crawford and Holloway and they took a commanding 48-33 lead into the half.
The second half began with Brad Redford (9/0/0) sinking a three, but then 2003 put on a 15-6 run to cut the deficit to single digits. During the run West connected on a couple jumpers, Sato (5/9/2) hit free throws and a three and Anthony Myles (18/6/1) scored on three straight possessions to cut the lead down to nine. Much to the dismay of ‘03 fans, Crawford got hot again and hit a 3 then set McLean up for an easy bucket.
From there, it was all 2010. Redford hit another 3, Kenny Frease converted dump offs from Jackson and Lyons (2/1/4) and even David West catching fire couldn’t stop the offensive onslaught from the 2010 boys. The lead was as high as 19 and the walk-ons even got in on the act. The final was a grim 93-77 in the favor of 2010 who put on a relentless performance and shot 56% from the floor and 62% from three.
2010 moves into the Final Four after the demolition of a team led by the best player in program history. Will this squad be able to keep it rolling or will the 2016 team be too much for them?