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Well, that went about as poorly as it could have

Xavier opened the first half of their first NCAA tournament in five years with a complete crap fest.

Kennesaw State v Xavier Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Xavier trails at the half in a game they should be winning. Kennesaw State is not a good basketball team but, to no one’s surprise, they are preying on the things Xavier does poorly. Let’s break down some keys, shall we?

-Can Xavier’s guards stay in front? No. Terrell Burden is currently running past whoever Xavier has, briefly, in front of him. Souley Boum can’t stay with him. That has meant that Colby Jones has had to slide to guarding a point, which means the entire defense is in rotation. That has meant wide open threes. 12 of them, to be exact.

-Will Kennesaw State be able to make a fight of it in the paint? Yes. Xavier has zero (0) offensive rebounds. Jerome Hunter has gotten what he wanted when he gets the ball, but he’s committed a foul on a bad Adam Kunkel entry pass and Souley Boum can’t get the ball inside. Jack Nunge has 6/5/2, but hasn’t been dominant.

-Don’t play down to the level of the competition. Xavier is doing exactly that. Or, more precisely, Kennesaw State has dragged X into the mud and won’t let them out. The nation’s third best three point shooting team is currently 1-7 from behind the arc. When Xavier shoots below 30% from deep they are 2-3.

There are 20 minutes to go. This is the reason that AD Greg Christopher brought Coach Miller back. He’s here to win games like this. Teams are judged on their postseason. Xavier has 20 minutes to save theirs.