Friday, March 14, 2008

Ho. Lee. Crap!!!

Someone pinch me, because I must be dreaming.

Saint Joseph’s beats No. 10 Xavier 61-53 in Atlantic 10 semis

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP)—Pat Calathes scored 24 points and Saint Joseph’s held No. 10 Xavier to a season-low point total in a 61-53 victory in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament on Friday night.

Fifth-seeded Saint Joseph’s (21-11) can lock up its first NCAA tournament berth since 2003-04 on Saturday night in the championship game.

Despite the loss, the top-seeded Musketeers (27-6) are all but guaranteed a spot in the NCAA tournament when the selections are announced on Sunday.

Ahmad Nivins added 15 points for the Hawks, whose tough man-to-man defense limited Xavier to 37 percent shooting from the field, including only one basket outside the paint.

The Hawks, who dominated Fordham and Richmond in the first two rounds of the tournament, took control with a 15-0 run that bridged the end of the first half and the start of the second, putting them ahead 35-20. (H/T - AP via Yahoo!)

Okay, while I am an SJU alum, I am not an idiot. The Hawks started off the season as one of the best teams in the Atlantic 10. Then, they took a nosedive into the toilet, and couldn't beat St. Mary's School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. The only way they're making the NCAA's is by winning the tournament, and they'll have to beat either Temple of Charlotte to do it. (Those teams are playing as I post this.) I am an optimistic realist. I think they can beat these teams, but only if they play their best basketball.

The way this team has turned into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, just making the Big Dance would be a victory, and if they slip in, I'll be ecstatic. They won't do a blessed thing in the NCAA Tournament, but it'll be nice to get an invite. We'll see.

UPDATE: A-10 Championship Game. Temple 69, Saint Joseph's 64. Dammit.

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