March Madness and 'The Day That Changed Everything'
Midway through the first half, as Xavier fell behind, 23-13 , Matta took Chalmers aside during a timeout and told him to relax. 'They were keying on him early, and I talked to him about being patient, that his shots would come,' Matta said.What, you might ask does the Xavier v. Mississippi State ball game have to do with 9/11? Well, Dedrick Finn was unable to make his recruitment trip to Missisippi State in September of 2001 because of the grounding of all flights in the aftermath of 9/11 (guess he didn't have any Saudi or Bush connections) -he signed with Xavier and, the rest, as they say, is history. On a related note I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy the commercials that aired during the games since Thursday. Particularly those that were divided between Army recruitment and the 60 minutes 'teaser'. You know, the teaser that asks, "Who says that Bush dropped the ball in the war on terror? Why, one of his own former advisors." Almost subliminal -repeated over and over and over again throughout the games to an audience not paying direct attention and many of whom would not likely watch 60 minutes. The best unpaid advertising the Kerry campaign could have received, except, of course, for the 60 minutes broadcast itself, where Clarke was brilliant. It's always difficult to tell from a teaser, how hardhitting an entire piece may be (e.g., the stong lead-in for former Treasury Secretary O'Nell's interview relative to his wishy-washy performance). Clark was not only believable, articulate and strong in the interview but his view was totally consistent with Bush's own words (as shown) about not being able to separate al Queda from Iraq and Saddam. Furthermore, Stephen Hadley (National Security council) was incredible in his effort to defend Bush. Per usual for this Administration, as they cannot denie the charges (because of course, as usual, they're true), Hadley states "We cannot find evidence that this conversation between Mr. Clarke and the pResident ever took place". He is somewhat taken aback when Ms. Stahl informs him that they did some investigating and have not just one but two corroborating sources, one of whom was a witness to the conversation. Can you say ...tumblin'?
Chalmers responded by scoring 12 of the Musketeers' last 20 points of the half and guiding them to a 34-33 halftime lead. Finn created a surge of momentum by heaving in a halfcourt shot at the horn.
Chalmers again epitomized the fall and rise of Xavier this season, scoring a career-high 31 points and rallying the Musketeers from a 10-point first-half deficit. Chalmers sank 11 of 13 shots, Dedrick Finn scored 22 points and the freshman Justin Doellman added 12 as Xavier, seeded seventh, defeated Mississippi State by hitting 68 percent of its 3-point attempts (13 of 19).
"I don't know if anybody in the country could have beaten Xavier today," Mississippi State Coach Rick Stansbury said. "When you come out and have your starters shoot the way they did, you have no chance." [Nitpicker emphasis]