What They're Saying: Arizona vs. Xavier

There's plenty of attention on Arizona's Sweet 16 game against Xavier. Read on for some clips from the national media.

Xavier desperately needs Reynolds to play out of this world again. Arizona is strong and athletic down low, and Reynolds will have to equalize. Both teams shoot at similar percentages, with Xavier coming out ahead from the line (72.3 percent vs. 70.5 percent). Xavier will need to sink an even larger share of free throws to keep the ‘Cats within upset range.”

- Jerry Landry, Rant Sports

“Xavier will come to play, but it just doesn’t have enough talent or athleticism to shock Arizona. This Wildcat team is hungry, and it will start fast to take some of the speed out of XU’s lineup. The constant drives to the bucket from the Wildcats will get Xavier’s bigs in foul trouble, and ‘Zona will move to the Elite Eight.”

- Ken Bikoff, Campus Insiders

“Honestly, it stinks. Sean was so good to me. It stinks from a personal standpoint. It stinks when people that are really close to you and that gave you the opportunity that Sean did have to face each other, but I’d rather face him in the tournament than in the regular season.”

- Chris Mack, Xavier Head Coach

“Not long after Xavier players emptied their water bottles on each other and their coach in the locker room, there was no shortage of praise by Mack in the post-game press conference. Mack said Myles Davis hadn't shot the ball well down the stretch, but didn't miss an attempt in Saturday's shoot-around "and was lights out today." Then there was Reynolds, who effectively finished around the rim, and Matt Stainbrook, who calmed down the Musketeers when they needed it. In the last six weeks Dee Davis, Mack said, has played as well as any point guard he has coached.”

- Shannon Russell, Cincinnati.com

“Arizona has one thing few teams in this tourney do: An elite veteran point guard, T.J. McConnell. He was at his do-it-all-best in Saturday’s victory over Ohio State, scoring 19, dishing six assists, grabbing six rebounds and notching five steals. The second-seeded Wildcats will likely be viewed as the underdogs if they do end up facing No. 1 seed Wisconsin in the Elite Eight, but Arizona is just as talented, just as seasoned and a little bit better defensively.”

- Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports

“This tournament is very much about who might be able to beat Kentucky. York would very much be critical to the cause for one of the teams with a real chance. York might be, in that roundabout way, one of the most important players left in the field. That is the kind of thing you think about in an NCAA Tournament when one team remains at the fore of everyone’s mind. And it really is everyone. With seven minutes between Ohio State and Arizona left and timeout on the floor, the scoreboard at Moda Center scanned the crowd. One fan rose and raised his arms. The camera stopped. The place hurled boos. The man was wearing a Kentucky jersey.”

- Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

“Many people thought that Xavier was a bit overrated as a 6-seed in this year’s tournament, but the Musketeers have proved that they’re worthy of their ranking. Against Georgia State, Xavier actually put together one of the best shooting nights in recent history, hitting on 68% of their shots, including 54% from 3-point-land and 88% from the line. If the Musketeers are able to keep that up, nobody is going to beat them. But Arizona, as we know, has a much better defense that GSU. The Wildcats held one of the best players in the country, D’Angelo Russell, to just nine points on 3-of-19 shooting. We don’t think Arizona’s run is quite done yet – we’ll take U of A to win and cover the spread.”

- College Spun


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