UC loses heartbreaker, Xavier advances in NCAA Tournament

UC loses heartbreaker, Xavier advances in NCAA Tournament
(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Joe Danneman)

FOX19 - UC's season of close losses and unlucky breaks ended with more heartbreak as Octavius Ellis' attempt at a game-tying dunk came just fractions of a second after the buzzer sounded in a 78-76 Bearcats loss to St. Joe's.

Just days after losing to UConn after a controversial buzzer-beating heave to keep the game alive, UC took a lead with less than 15 seconds to play after a Jacob Evans fast break dunk. But, the Hawks responded with a go-ahead three pointer with eleven seconds left, setting up the final play of the game.

Ellis gathered the ball under the basket and attempted to send the game to overtime with a tying dunk, but replays showed the ball still touching his hand as the clock hit zero, nullifying the game-tying basket.

"I'm just really appreciative of my guys effort," said head coach Mick Cronin. "I just, obviously, feel really bad for my team right now. Especially, my seniors."

"I'm not happy," said Troy Cuapain. "I'm very upset the game ended the way it ended. I feel the same way you would feel if you lost a game like that."

Xavier advanced to the second round with a 71-53 win over Weber State. XU big men James Farr and Jalen Reynolds combined for 30 points and 20 rebounds as the Musketeers advance to play Wisconsin on Sunday.

"It never gets old. Trust me when I tell you it never gets old," said head coach Chris Mack of celebrating the win. "There's nothing like winning an NCAA Tournament game."

Xavier and Wisconsin will tip-off Sunday night at approximately 8:40 pm in St. Louis.

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