Friday, March 13, 2009

Christmas plays Grinch, steals tourney from "X"

Temple's Dionte Christmas made every big shot his team needed down the stretch. The Owls upset top seeded Xavier 55-53 in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament in Atlantic City.
Christmas scored 10 of his game high 20 in the final 6:16 of the game, including two late 3-pointers and a free throw with 7 seconds left to give temple a 4 point lead and put the game out of reach.
Xavier went through a 5 minute stretch late in the game without scoring. Derrick Brown's jumper gave the Musketeers a 3 point lead with 7:24 to play. By the time the Muskies scored again, Temple had built a 4 point lead.
The win keeps Temple perfect against the Musketeers in A-10 tournament play. Temple has won all 5 tournament meetings. Xavier (25-7) will now enter the NCAA tournament with an at-large berth instead of the automatic bid that comes from winning the A-10 tournament. Temple (21-11) moves on to play in tomorrow evening's championship game.

That's the nuts and bolts of Xavier's evening. Now what happens to the Musketeers when it comes to an NCAA seeding? The overall record is impressive, but in the final 10 games of the season "X" finished with a (5-5) record. Will this keep Xavier from grabbing a 4 seed? The difference between a 4 and a 5 is big for the fans because of the location of the pods. With a 4 Xavier would have the best seed in its pod and perhaps a chance to go to Dayton. Before Friday's loss the experts had Xavier with a 4 seed but heading out to Boise. They had top seeds Louisville and Michigan State hogging the comforts of U.D. Arena. With a 5, Xavier is totally at the mercy of the 4th seed in its bracket. That could be anywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment