Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Well, Xavier, you had a nice run in the NCAA Tournament, but all good things have to come to an end at some point. Now is your time.
During the regular season, Xavier was an odd team to get a good grip on. After starting the season with eight straight victories, Xavier and Cincinnati took part in what has become the infamous fight of the season. Since then, Xavier has gone 15-12, and while they have lost plenty of their games to teams worth losing to, they certainly have racked up some bad losses as well.
Xavier returned to form during the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, knocking off Saint Louis and Dayton in the first two rounds before losing to upset-minded St. Bonaventure in the final. Xavier's inconsistent play resulted in a meager 10-seed, but that turned out to be the best luck they could have had.
Xavier drew an overrated Notre Dame squad in the "second" round (their first game, I know, it feels weird calling it the second round), who they were able to squeak by, 67-63. Then, to everyone's surprise, Lehigh was able to upset a superior Duke squad, making Xavier's third-round matchup easier than it should have been.
However, Xavier now faces their toughest challenge of the Tournament: a Baylor squad that is finally putting it all together. Xavier center Kenny Frease is coming off his best game of the season (25 points, 12 rebounds), and he is going to have to keep that up in order to give his team a chance.
Baylor's front-court is hard to match. Freshman Quincy Miller, sophomore Perry Jones III and senior Quincy Acy are the catalysts that really make the Bears go. When you add in junior point guard Pierre Jackson and sophomore sharpshooter Brady Heslip, the Bears are an offensive powerhouse that is tough to stop.
Xavier is going to be outmatched, and while I do think Tu Holloway is going to do anything he can to keep his team in this game, the outcome won't be in his favor.
Sorry, Xavier. You gave it a good shot.