Friday, March 26, 2010

One Of The Best I've Seen! And What Could Have Been

What a great game. It was hard for me to think of another game I had witnessed first hand that had more big shots than the Xavier-Kansas State tilt in Salt Lake
City. It was amazing. Jordan Crawford and Terrell Holloway at one end, Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente at the other. Crawford-Holloway won the scoring battle of the guards, 58-53. But Kansas State won the war, thanks to more active bodies on the inside. The Wildcats were just a little deeper there. But take nothing away from Jaon Love, Jamel McLean, and Andrew Taylor. Those guys battled their butts off, with Love finishing with a game-high 15 rebounds and 11 points. He'll leave the Xavier program with his head high, knowing he gave every ounce of sweat in that big body of his.

I was sitting in front of Jason's dad at the game, and I had to tell him afterwards that his son played a heckuva game. Dad knew it. Love played 43 of the 50 minutes in the game. A guy that big going that long, that was unthinkable when he showed up on the Xavier campus as a freshman.

What could have been for the Musketeers. I watched most of the Butler-Syracuse game, and I am convinced that Xavier is playing well enough to take down the Bulldogs. Butler is not nearly as deep as Xavier at this stage of the season, I think Xavier would have a decided edge inside. I'm not taking anything away from Butler's Matt Howard, the dude plays hard, but he needs a little more help. I was really impressed with Butler's smarts, and poise, but I think the Musketeers would have brought too much firepower. So in my book, X missed a trip to the Final Four by losing in double overtime.

After the game Jordan Crawford talked about how most people would think this loss would bum the Muskies out big-time. But Crawford said he can live with this loss, because he knows they left if all out there. Xavier did just that. So did Kansas State. I had to ask Crawford about his future. He was gracious in his response and said he's not thinking about that right now. On this night he wanted all of the focus on his teammates, as it should have been. Of course there has to be some focus on Crawford too. 87 points in three NCAA tournament games is strong, real strong. I still haven't seen his name in the mock drafts, but that has to change, doesn't it?

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