Xavier motivated by championship mentality - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Xavier motivated by championship mentality

The fifth ranked Xavier Musketeers joined the ranks of those who have taken down a number one team this season in beating Villanova, and that alone, ranks as one of the best moments in recent Xavier basketball history. (FOX19 NOW Photo/Jeremy Rauch) The fifth ranked Xavier Musketeers joined the ranks of those who have taken down a number one team this season in beating Villanova, and that alone, ranks as one of the best moments in recent Xavier basketball history. (FOX19 NOW Photo/Jeremy Rauch)
Freshman guard Edmond Sumner celebrating a victory over No. 1 Villanova Wednesday night (FOX19 NOW Photo/Jeremy Rauch) Freshman guard Edmond Sumner celebrating a victory over No. 1 Villanova Wednesday night (FOX19 NOW Photo/Jeremy Rauch)
Jalen Reynolds (FOX19 NOW Photo/Jeremy Rauch) Jalen Reynolds (FOX19 NOW Photo/Jeremy Rauch)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The fifth ranked Xavier Musketeers joined the ranks of those who have taken down a number one team this season in beating Villanova, and that alone, ranks as one of the best moments in recent Xavier basketball history, but there’s another piece of history this team is still chasing.

“We’re still mad about what happened against Arizona last year and it’s carried on to this year,” said Junior guard Myles Davis.

This is just the beginning of what has historically been, the most wonderful time of the year for Xavier – the five sweet 16 appearances in the last eight years, and three in the last six years under Coach Mack, ranks among the best in college basketball in the NCAA tournament, but this season the Muskies are motivated to cut down the nets in April.

“Ten years from now, they’ll remember this, but we have bigger fish to fry,” said Xavier’s Chris Mack after his first win over a number one team as a head coach. “We’re not sitting around with a 14-14 record. We have a group that if they continue to get better, the sky is the limit and I think our team understands that.”

“I still think we can get better,” Davis said, who scored 16 points in the win over Villanova. “I think each game you’ll see something new, something different, but you’ll see the same depth that we have. March is coming and we have a whole month to get better.”

Xavier has been a staple in the NCAA tournament. Beating a number one team with two games left in the regular season, a road trip to Seton Hall and a home game against Creighton, goes a long way in nailing down what would be the first number one seed in program history.

“This team has a championship flare,” said Fox college basketball analyst Bill Raftery. “When the season started, everyone knew they’d be good defensively, but they’ve gotten better, they’ve prospered with so many different players contributing.”

“We try to concern ourselves with the next practice and next game,” said Mack. “Twitter is everywhere. Social media is everywhere. When we’re looking at Lunardi as coaches and all that stuff, they’re probably looking at rap videos on YouTube. So, it doesn’t faze them. We have a fun group to coach.”

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