Monday, March 22, 2010

Xavier the New Hoyas, And Mom Didn't Freeze!

Jamel McLean and his mother, Velma, were kind enough to pose for this picture outside the Bradley Center after Jamel and the Xavier Musketeers knocked off Pitt. Jamel's mother thankfully wasn't freezing to death. She called on son to check on the Milwaukee weather Friday. Son said the weather was fine, with temperatures in the 50's. What Jamel didn't know was the weather was turning in a hurry. Velma left her heavy coat at home, only to be greeted by snow when she arrived in Milwaukee Saturday. But Jamel's mother was all for forgiveness after Jamel and the Musketeers marched into the Sweet 16.

Wow, can there be any detractors left? Xavier has built a program from the ground up. From Schmidt Fieldhouse to the Gardens to the Cintas Center. I'm not saying Xavier never had a program. The success of the 50's and early 60's is solid. But since the early 80's, the progress is undeniable. It's also the blueprint of how to build a program. No shortcuts, no flashes in the pan, just steady progress. This program reminds me of Georgetown in the 1980's. It has sizzle. Those not lucky enough to see this up close have no idea how it has happened. But those of us in Cincinnati have seen the class acts. If I start naming names, we'll run out of room. But I'll start by using Brian Grant as a shining example because he's done right by his hometown. His hometown is my hometown: Georgetown, Ohio. The radio broadcast team of big Joe Sunderman and Byron Larkin would be the first two guys to pull over and help a stranger fix a flat tire. Before I ask Father Graham for a loan, let's get back to the point. The mid-major tag is ridiculous. It is simply a product of the Atlantic 10 conference, and not a product of the Xavier program. There are programs in the so-called power conferences that would kill to have Xavier's situation. Beautiful on-campus arena and an administration that gets it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. A program is built from the top down. If the President and board aren't behind it, then nobody is behind it. But if it's important to the president and the board, then it's important to everyone on campus. That's what allows you to become one of just two schools (Michigan St.) to reach the Sweet 16 the last three tournaments. Should the Big East eventually break up and the football schools take off on their own, which program out there would be the first to get a phone call to join the Villanova-Georgetown party? The answer begins with X.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, isn't this why we tune into March Madness... we got upsets all over the place but in the West Bracket, Syracuse and Kansas State the number one and two seeds both were able to get to the sweet 16. To add to that Butler and Xavier got there and they are no team to take lightly. I am sure I am not the only one who waits all year to see basketball played at this caliber. Any team could honestly go on in this bracket to the Elite Eight.

    If you are as confused as I am, and most people for that matter on who to take going into the Eight Eight and Final Four, you might want to check out this write up @ ... it has full in depth write-ups on all sixteen teams as well as predictions for all eight games in the sweet sixteen round.

    So who you got in the West Bracket? I have to take the favourites in Syracuse and Kansas State, they are simply playing the best basketball out of any team in the bracket... But anything is possible, especially this year!!!