2. In-state showdowns bring different results
In-state rivalries are some of the most entertaining games of the year, Marquette saw themselves get upset in a loss to their big-time rival Wisconsin. For two Big East teams though, there were different results in each team’s respective games.
It started off with Xavier continuing their dominance against Cincinnati in their rivalry, which is not just in the state of Ohio, but both schools are located in the city of Cincinnati. This one was at the great Cintas Center, a home matchup for the Musketeers. Xavier got a great outing out of Quincy Olivari who put up 27 points, while Dayvion McKnight had 20 of his own in that one with eight rebounds. Desmond Claude had a well-rounded night with 11 points, six assists, and six rebounds.
The Musketeers went back and forth with this team, but the Bearcats were unable to recover from a strong first half by Xavier, and the game finished 84-79 in favor of the Musketeers. For the state of New Jersey though, the Big East did not take that state over.
The Seton Hall Pirates were defeated in a rough loss by their rival Rutgers 70-63. The Pirates were unable to get anything going from the outside and missed a bunch of free throws in addition to an overall sluggish offensive night. The Scarlet Knights simply showed up for the occasion, and now Seton Hall falls to 5-4 on the year.
So while there was elation for Xavier as they knocked off their rival and stopped their undefeated season, Seton Hall lost the trophy they held for two consecutive years. Both teams find themselves with similar records, but Xavier can feel much better about their season after their win, while the clouds over South Orange feel a bit bleaker after that loss.