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Sunday Conversation celebrates a crucial win

Xavier avoided the one major pitfall left and may, maybe, have clinched a bid with a win.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Xavier Musketeers
Get yourself on the front page, Ian

Brad: Huuuuuge win today. Not just because it was a blowout, not just because we emptied the bench, not just because De’Sean Nelson didn’t kill anyone, but because that was the last game that could have genuinely stung the resume. Boys, I think we’re dancing.

Joel: We’ve got 2 Q3 and 2 Q1 left to play, plus whatever the conference tournament holds for us. I don’t like the Nova game especially, as it’s got a real risk without any tangible resume return, but we’re positioned pretty well on the whole. I think we’re in right now and our resume is durable enough to sustain some damage. With that said, I think we are in a strong position to remain on a protected seed line, and I think that should be the goal.

Brad: Agreed. That Columbus slot would be amazing, even if it meant the expense of getting the whole family there.

I thought Sean Miller was excellent yesterday. All the last couple days he talked about not needing to run and controlling the pace, then we came out and tore into them with the Five Musketeers. Huge credit to the training staff for getting these guys in this kind of shape.

Beed: I wasn’t able to watch the game yesterday, but I listened along. I dropped out after DePaul went on a run in the first half and rejoined just before the half. We absolutely buried them, and after the last couple of games, that was good to see.

I think protecting home court sets us up well to keep the position we hold. Any win on the road is just gravy if we can hold serve at home.

Also, that Jerome dunk had Joe and Byron about ready to explode. Great stuff.

Brad: Speaking of things that inspired them to emotion, how did Nelson finish that game? DePaul is a joke, they hired a guy who has a history of really shady stuff, up to and including covering up sexual assault, but they’ve never been particularly loathsome on court. Yesterday was an exception. That play should have been an immediate ejection. What a tool.

Joel: Speaking of tools, Mick Cronin is moaning about UCLA not having a higher projected seed in the bracket top 16 that was released the other day. Other than the fun of seeing your team’s logo on the screen, that this is pretty meaningless, right? It’s not like that’s prescriptive in any way; a lot can change between now and Selection Sunday.

Also, we’re just over 5 years removed from the last Mack v. Mick Crosstown Shootout. If you had told me after that game that in 2023 one of those head coaches would be leading Final Four contender UCLA and the other would have been out of the game entirely, I could have been given multiple guesses and still not gotten it right.