Men’s basketball reaches first Elite Eight against Blue Devils

By: Chris Behler

After an exciting sequence of events last night, the Xavier Musketeers lost 66-63 in a heart- wrenching game in the team’s first-ever Elite Eight appearance.

The Musketeers had a historic run to become one of the last eight teams in the NCAA Tournament. After beginning the season with a dismal 10-9 start, Xavier buckled down and went on a legendary run, winning seven straight games before a minor 74-68 setback at Duquesne University.

From there, Xavier went on to win all of its remaining regular season games including every game in the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Following this unbelievable win, Xavier knocked off George Washington University 70-47, a team who had bested the Musketeers by 21 points earlier in the season.

After this, they went on to defeat Dayton 58-49 in the A-10 Championship game.

In the first round of the tournament, Xavier faced the No. 10-seeded Louisville Cardinals and won 80-70.

The second round brought with it a whole new frenzy of Musketeer dominance, as they beat up on No. 2 seed Mississippi State 89-74.

After this fantastic win the Musketeers entered the Sweet 16 for the first time in 14 years and defeated Georgetown University 79-71 to avenge the Sweet Sixteen loss to the Hoyas in 1990.

When Xavier faced the Duke University Blue Devils in the Elite Eight, however, the Musketeers fell short 66-63 in a hard-fought game.

Despite the loss to Duke, the 2003-04 season will forever be remembered as “The Run” — the miraculous run that led Xavier to the Elite Eight when they were on the verge of finishing the season in the National Invitational Tournament.

The Musketeers finished with a 26-11 record in 2003-04.