I'm taking the night off to celebrate Casey's birthday. Dan Hoard has Sports Talk, 6-9pm. Casey has picked Max & Erma's for dinner. Sure beats spending his birthday in the hospital!
Casey now and then:
Casey when he was three years old, minus hair from the chemo
Did you miss him?
Mike Bobinski, XU athletic director, head of NCAA Selection Committee, joined me courtside at Cintas Center. We discussed how teams are selected and how the bracket is put together....the 'eye test', not picking storylines, non-conference scheduling, how you finish, etc. Listen here:
Proud to be on team, Phillips wants to excel
"I had called [Phillips], left him a message and he called me back," said Torre, who is coming out of retirement to manage in the third running of the Classic that begins for the U.S. against Mexico at Chase Field on March 8. "I'm not sure he knew it was an invitation. He thought I was sort of on a fact-finding mission. Then when I did assure him that I wanted him to play second base, he got excited, and said, 'Can I tweet about this?'"
Donnie Joseph is blowing people away in camp for the Royals. The LHP was part of the deal for Jonathan Broxton.
Big win for the Muskies last night. That was a hell of a basketball game.
As Chris Mack said in the postgame, Xavier had invested a lot of time, energy and effort into the VCU game, only to loss a 17 point lead and the game. They bounced back last night, and they did it without Dee Davis and Landon Amos.
Despite the absence of Davis, and facing a high pressure Memphis defense, the Musketeers turned it over just 10 times. Xavier jumped on Memphis from the start.
Travis Taylor scored 11 of their first 14 points and totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers were held to a season low 20 points at the half, and Xavier lead 31-20. Xavier's lead grew to as many as 13 points in the second half. The body language of the Tigers ranged from confusion to frustration, with a look of "what the _____?" on the face of players. But after seeing a big lead evaporate vs VCU, Xavier's lead dissolved into a three point deficit. Lacking depth, XU looked tired and on the ropes, while Memphis got some swagger back. But the Musketeers regrouped and got big baskets down the stretch from Jeff Robinson and Brad Redford. Xavier hammered the Tigers on the boards, outredbounding them 45-36 and dominating on second chance points. Isaiah Philmore chipped in 15 points while Semaj Christon added 13 points and five assists. One game after turning it over 10 times, Christon had just one turnover.
Memphis came into the game 24-3 and had won 18 in a row. They flashed at times and showed signs of being a dangerous team. They get it end to end as quickly as any team I've seen this year, and they have some jumpers. But the Tigers appeared to start the game in cruise control, got outworked on the boards and missed 12 of 18 FT's.
As much as I thought Chris Mack lost control of the bus at times last season, he has done a hell of a job with this team. He's had to use duct tape, string and bandages with this team, a team minus Mark Lyons and Dez Wells. They play hard. Many figured Xavier could struggle to win 10 games. They sit at 16-11 overall and 8-5 in the A-10.
Russell: Pastner praises Mack and other notes
AP: Xavier ends Memphis win streak at 18
DeCourcy: Memphis' loss to Xavier raises questions
Goheen: Muskies show grit in win
CBS: Memphis beats up C-USA, but comes up short in big-boy basketball
Hoard: Getting Cash back
Shot of the night!