Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Xavier Confident, Not Cocky

Xavier had the normal 1 hour public practice on Wednesday, in addition to a more intense and productive practice elsewhere. The Musketeers say they are a better squad than the one that lost by 15 at Kansas State in December. I believe they are, and a neutral court will make a difference. But are they good enough to beat Kansas State? I'm on record believing that they have better than a punchers chance. The Musketeers are comfortable with where they are, and why not, the vets have been here three years in a row. With that comfort comes confidence. I talked with Dante Jackson about that today. They know the stakes are high, but they are still having fun and enjoying the ride. They are confident, but not cocky, knowing full well every team that has made it this far has to be doing something right. Dante said Chris Mack calls this regional the "Salt Lake Invitational." That helps them focus that it's a 4 team, 2 game tournament, winner takes all. Just take care of business here, and don't think about what's on the line. Like the second trip in three years to the Elite Eight. Or better than that, two wins and a trip to the final four. Amazingly, Dante was asked about the "mid-major" tag again. He turned the question around and asked the reporter if he thought Xavier was mid-major. The reporter said no, then Dante admitted that the only way they will quit hearing that stuff is to win two more games. Win the "Salt Lake Invitational", go to the Final Four, and the perception of Xavier will be forever changed. The reality changed a long time ago, and that's why a team from Xavier can enter the Sweet 16 as a confident bunch. Confident, no cocky.

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