By: Tyler Dugan
This sucks. Really sucks. There are few things worse than watching your rival do well. To all the people that say, “they’re from Cincinnati, you should root for the local teams!!” GTFO. There is nothing, NOTHING *Josh Peck Voice*, that pisses me off more than people who say, “I gotta root for them because they are the local team” or “I root for them because they are in our conference.”
I HATE those kind of people, and I’m @ing every single one of you. If your team, who you ride or die with, gets eliminated and you root for their rival because they are local or because they are in the same conference YOU ARE A MORON. Every single true UC fan should be rooting for XU to lose.
With all that being said it, it doesn’t mean XU doesn’t deserve a tip of the ‘ole ball cap.
They earned this. Bluiett is a freak, Macura is a mega-douche, but a flat out gamer. Sean O’ Mara suddenly became good. For the past seven years I heard how “Xavier is making Sweet 16 runs and UC isn’t.” My simple response to that would be, they beat Lehigh and Georgia State to advance. UC has lost to Kemba’s UCONN team, Jared Sullinger’s OSU team, Doug McDermott’s Creighton team, the 39-1 UK team and Lonzo Ball this year. Other than Harvard and St. Joe’s losses, UC has pretty much been the significant underdog in everyone of those losses. Is it frustrating that they can never pull off the upset? Yes, but it’s not something to freak out over, they simply weren’t the better team.
XU this year was different. They were anticipated to be loaded. They simply didn’t live up to the hype. Their best win was over a very average Creighton team. Their “best” player got hurt. In February, they lost to every team they played not named DePaul. Then Chris Mack did something that turned this season upside down. He burned the month of Februrary from a calender, stuck the ashes in a jar and they are now carrying that jar around with them.
Unreal move. UNREAL. I tweeted out the minute I saw this that stuff like this gets you to the Final Four. It’s like when the Royals carried around that Praying Mantis during their run. This stuff needs to be made public before the tourney. It truly does. I am a firm believer in this kind of stuff. You can’t do it every year, but if you do it at just the right time, I believe that it yields very serious powers. That jar has some juju and Chris Mack deserves all the credit for that Grade A idea.
Speaking of Chris Mack, I have officially moved him into my top 5 coaches in the game. What he did to Sean Miller late Thursday night is a felony in most states. Completely raped him in the coaching game of chess. The final play was genius, he knew everyone and their brother was going to swarm to Bluiett. He iso’s him at the top of the key, the Giant from Finland has to help, he gives O’ Mara just enough room to slide behind him, and bury the layup.
The 2-3 Zone stifled Sean Miller. Clearly, Sean Miller never watched a Western Conference Basketball game in his time here in Cincy because he had no idea what to do vs. a zone. It was embarassing. ARIZONA HAS A 7 FOOT FREAK WHO IS GOING TO BE A LOTTERY PICK IN THIS DRAFT AND THEY NEVER GAME HIM THE BALL. Mind boggling. They just launched 3’s. Chucked them up. Late in the game, if I need a quality look at the rim and I had to take one coach, Mack is on that short list. Jay Wright, Mack, Izzo and Beilein are the guys I’m taking.
They are always there. They don’t have the top of the line guys year in and year out, yet they are always there making their run in the end. Coach K, Cal, Roy, Bill Self, are all just good at managing egos. They get top of the line talent and know how to manage them. Now that’s a great quality to have don’t get me wrong, but late in the game, give me one of those four I named earlier. Indiana would be dumb to not offer everything they have to him. He recruits the hell of Indiana. He brings the best players in Indiana to Xavier, imagine what he would bring to IU. I would offer him head coach, athletic director, governor and everything else.
He deserves everything that he will get offered to him. Will he accept it? Who knows, but deserves it. He has launched XU into another stratosphere. Prosser, Matta and Miller had XU being good and hopeful of a Cinderella run. Make no mistake, Chris Mack has now made those Cinderella runs into expectations. He is a thoroughbred in the coaching world.
For UC fans, just because Xavier is making a great run doesn’t mean our season should be looked down upon. It was a good year. For the first time in a long time, this program took positive strides. This team wasn’t completely reliant upon one player like the Kilpatrick years. They got 30 wins. Yeah it was in a bad conference, but not many teams get 30 wins in a bad conference. This team would’ve had a lot of wins in any conference. They ran into a better team. Good offense beats great defense. UCLA has a great offense. Literally the best offense in college basketball. They were simply better. Don’t lose sight of what happened this year and what is coming in the future because Xavier got hot.
XU has had an unreal run. The only thing you can do as a UC fan is hope they lose. Someone needs to find that jar of ashes and pour it out, otherwise XU is making the Final Four….
Bring on opening day.