Just back from covering Xavier's womens hoops team in the Atlantic 10 conference tournament at Cintas Center for the Enquirer.
The Muskies overcame a 3-for-13 shooting performance from Amber Harris, their leading scorer and A-10 Rookie of the Year, and rallied to beat Temple 54-53.
Xavier will play St. Joseph's in Monday's championship game at 5 p.m. with the winner earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
St. Joseph's semifinal win today over George Washington, ranked No. 8 in the nation and on a 19-game winning streak, came as a surprise to most in attendance, including those close to the team. The upset loss left a Washington Post beat reporter and team officials scrambling to change flights and hotel arrangements.
As maligned as the A-10 has been among mens' basketball conferences, it's a pretty strong womens' league. In fact, if St. Joe's topples Xavier on Monday, the A-10 will likely get four teams into the NCAA Tournament - Xavier, GW, Temple, St. Joe's.
As for the Xavier mens' NCAA chances, these comments just in from ESPN:
Should be in: Xavier [23-7 (13-3), RPI: 32, SOS: 86] I've probably undersold Xavier in past editions of D65. Now that X is the co-champ of the A-10 after eight straight wins to close things out -- to go with nonconference wins over VCU, Villanova, Illinois and K-State -- the profile looks very solid for an at-large. The Musketeers need to avoid a quarterfinal A-10 flameout, but I like their chances a lot right now.