The sun will rise today. Or, if not today, since the forecast once again looks kinda crappy for the Philly region, it will someday in the near future.
OK, so your top-ranked Wildcats lost to No. 5 Xavier, 90-83, Wednesday night in Cincinnati. Their defense got undressed a bit by the Musketeers’ speed and quickness and sharpshooting. Their offense sputtered at times and short-circuited at others.
Still, with less than a minute to go, the ’Cats were scratching and clawing and draining 3-pointers to make what looks to be a legit Final Four team really sweat it out.
Let’s be honest for a minute, you didn’t really think Villanova was the best team in the country, did ya? Maybe the Big East, sure, but that fallacy was wiped away in this one with Xavier freshman point guard Edmond Sumner not missing the final 37.39 with a concussion. His absence turned a one-point game into a 31-point runaway for the host ’Cats in the prior meeting between the two teams.
Something to keep in mind: X was ranked sixth entering that initial matchup and Nova 16th. This latest display really seems to be a case of the Big East’s cream rising to the top in the Queen City.
But, make no mistake. Both of these NCAA-bound squads are good, very good. It’s just when it comes to talent and potential, frankly, X is better. Tougher? No, no team out-toughs Nova. Not as long as Jay Wright is the head coach and he has a leader such as Ryan Arcidiacono on the court.
But this loss was an eye-opener, or should have been. Nova needs to be on top of its game if it hopes to make a deep run in the upcoming tournament.
Perhaps this was the wake-up call that will prevent the ’Cats from enduring their annual, first-weekend fall.