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NCAA Tournament 2015: Arizona vs. Xavier halftime notes

Xavier was considered a major underdog against Arizona. No one told the X, which is tied with the Wildcats at 28-28 after the first 20 minutes.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Led by sudden superstar Matt Stainbrook, Xavier has kept pace with Arizona as it continues its march in the NCAA Tournament. If we're lucky, the second half will provide just as much excitement as the first because there's not much else to watch. Kentucky/West Virginia ended about six hours ago.


  • American hero Stainbrook has captured the country's imagination and has been putting it right to Arizona's towering Kaleb Tarczewski. The Stain Train has 10 points, seven rebounds, an assist and a block. The rebounds are particularly impressive, considering he only averages 6.9 per game. Also, he drives for Uber.
  • Dee Davis had as many assists as turnovers, with three of each. His battle with T.J. McConnell will likely be a major factor in the second half.
  • Xavier has yet to hit a three (0-of-6), but it has a 19-18 edge on the boards and is crushing Arizona in the paint, outscoring it 22-12 from such distances. So much for Arizona's advantage in the frontcourt.
  • Jalen Reynolds, who's status was in question after reports surfaced that he was under investigation for an on-campus assault, has helped off the bench with six points and a block. Also, a few dunks like this one:


  • It is going to be really difficult for Xavier to upset the Wildcats if Stanley Johnson keeps playing like he did in the first. Johnson has been the Wildcats' most consistent offensive threat, with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
  • Davis' nemesis in this one is McConnell, who has matched Xavier's point guard with three turnovers, along with a grab bag on the stat line (four points, five rebounds, two assists and a block).
  • Arizona has hit four triples, two from Johnson, but the 'Cats have taken nearly twice as many shots from long range (13) as Xavier (7).
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson went down with what looked to be a gruesome knee injury in the early going and limped off the court. However, he eventually came back into the game. He also had a ball thrown off his face by a teammate, but he did do this: