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Knee-Jerk Thoughts: Xavier-Kansas State

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That Xavier-Kansas State game gave me newly found optimism. I don't know how anyone could sit through that type of double-overtime game and not start believing in the goodness of humanity, even though Kansas State won 101-96.

Where do I begin?

• K-State began with a 19-4 lead through the first eight minutes. But they did not lead at halftime. (This should have been a precursor that the next 30 minutes were going to distort my perception on everything without the need for hallucinogenic drugs.)

 • What awareness by Xavier's Terrell Holloway to heave up a 3-point attempt when he did. As regulation time was dwindling, the Wildcats were trying to foul but no whistles were blowing. So he flailed in the air, got hacked, and threw up a terrible shot. He nailed all three freebies. That's what I call Jesuit balls.

Jordan Crawford's shot / AP• Okay, kidding, THIS is Jesuit balls: with time ticking away again in the first overtime, Jordan Crawford's 3-point basket was … how do I put this? It wasn't an NBA three — it was beyond that. It was a Rock 'n Jock 10-point shot. It's still only worth three in actual basketball, but I don't think anyone believed that (a) it went in, (b) Xavier tied the game again, and (c) in the same situation (down by three, final shot). St. Ignatius had to have had a hand in guiding that shot inward. In fact, the entire arena was so flabberflummoxed, K-State's Denis Clemente practically had a clean look at a mid-range jumper on the other end, but I think even his nerves were shot.

• And yet again, Xavier was down three with the final shot in double-overtime. Reality set in, and we had no game-tying 3-point circus baskets. Kansas State, the highly favored second seed, will now face Butler in the Elite Eight, who ohbytheway knocked off top-seeded Syracuse. Seems like such an afterthought.

• All the focus was on Xavier's WTF-inducing jujitsu, but how about Jacob Pullen for KSU? He had some monster shots all game, but especially in the final minute. All three final minutes, actually. Here's a look at all the points accrued in the final minute of regulation and both overtimes:

Pullen, KSU: 12
Holloway, XU: 8
Jason Love, XU: 4
Crawford, XU: 3 (and this number does NOT do it justice)
Denis Clemente, KSU: 2
Chris Merriewether, KSU: 1

And then there's more basketball tomorrow. There better be a game-winning halfcourt shot, or I'm going to want my money back.

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