I've been doing a lot of thinking about philosophy of late. Rereading the works of some of the great thinkers that have come before us. Rene Descartes, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, the list goes on and on. They opined about the meaning of human existence, what it means to be alive, how man perceives this blue ball we are all spinning on.
However, I think one work of philosophy has stuck with me the most as I write this. It was a genius piece of poetry that has stuck in my mind.
"Break bread wit the enemy, but no matter how many cats I break bread wit I'll break who you sendin' me"
This flowery dart of grammatical aerobics comes courtesy of one Earl Simmons, or as he is known to most: DMX. It is pulled from his exceptional work "X Gon Give It To Ya".
Bet you didn't expect that long an introduction for an obvious connection between Xavier and Dark Man X. (Get it? Because X is in Xavier). Regardless of how ham-fisted the lead-in was, the words of Mr. Simmons hold true. Xavier has broken bread with 22 teams this season, and has broken 20 of those teams which were sent to it. Recently, the Musketeers have broken four opponents in a row and they just so happen to have already defeated their opponent on Saturday once this season.
Marquette doesn't have an easy theme song like the X, but that is the least of its concerns. The Golden Eagles were considered sleeper NCAA Tournament contenders this season, but they are running out of time to reach that destiny, if it is to be their's at all. A 79-62 loss to Seton Hall last time out ended a three-game winning streak for the Eagles, who are just 4-6 in Big East play and 15-8 overall.
DMX once also said "it's dark and hell is hot." The Cintas Center won't be dark on Saturday, but the pressure from Xavier will be as hot as you can imagine.
How to watch, listen, stream or project via hologram like R2-D2
Three things to watch
1. Award Season
It seems like every matchup in the Big East is a star-studded affair. But, there is always the chance that we feel that way at BECB because we are just in the echo chamber of our own bias. However, there is no denying that this game has two of the nation's best, at least if you ask the folks that hand out hardware at year's end. Xavier's Trevon Bluiett was named a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year award and Henry Ellenson of Marquette is one of the last 10 nominees for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year award.
Ellenson (16 PPG, 10 RPG) is one of only two players in the Big East to be averaging a double-double. The other is Seton Hall's Angel Delgado (10.1 PPG, 10 RPG). Plus there was that whole 32-point, 10-reboun, six-block business against Butler just last week. Meanwhile, Bluiett is putting up 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. In addition, his true shooting percentage (56.3 percent) and effective field goal percentage (51.5 percent) have been sensational, along with his average of 2.3 3-pointers a game.
2. As Cool As...
Myles Davis is one of those guys that will never be in the limelight. Will never be the all-first team guy. Will never be the potential lottery pick and probably won't be Marquette's No. 1 priority on Saturday. That's too bad because without Davis, Xavier wouldn't be the top 10 juggernaut we've come to know this season. Davis has done a fine job of being the primary ball-handler on a squad that lost a stellar point guard in Dee Davis. Even though is usage percentage has dropped (18.9 percent compared to 21.4 percent), his assist percentage has jumped by just over 10 percfentage points (27.5 percent from 17.3 percent). He is also scoring 11.2 points per game, knocking down 88.5 percent at the free-throw line and dropping in nearly two triples a contest.
When these two squads met up in mid-January, Xavier came away with a 74-66 victory. In that contest, James Farr was a monster, scoring 16 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. His work on the glass led to a 49-38 edge on the boards for the Musketeers. Considering each of these teams have major rebounding talents (Ellenson, Luke Fischer, Farr, Bluiett, Jalen Reynolds), the large disparity was a bit of a surprise. Ellenson has more rebounds than anyone in the conference (229) and Fischer leads the way in offensive rebounds. However, the duo had only 12 combined in the first matchup. Being more competitive (or even winning) on the boards would go a long way for Marquette if it has any prayer at an upset, especially if it shoots below 35 percent like it did the first time in faced Xavier.