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Xavier ready for 'major' status

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  March 25, 2009 02:44 PM

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Xavier is a non-BCS school from the Atlantic-10, which makes it a "mid-major'' team.


"Mid-major,'' said Xavier coach Sean Miller at this afternoon's practice session at the TD Banknorth Garden. "I would say college basketball is not college football. When you look at Memphis last year in the national championship game, I don't think anybody really cared what conference they were from. They just looked out there and saw an excellent team.''

Miller, whose team will face Pittsburgh in tomorrow's first game, is a former Panthers star.

"I've watched them with a lot of pride over the last eight years,'' said Miller, who is a 1992 Pitt graduate and was named to Pitt's All-Centennial Team from 1905-2005.

  • The day before NCAA Tournament games is open to the public as teams go through their practice sessions. In actuality, they are little more than shooting drills, since most teams hold their real practice sessions at other spots. Xavier, Villanova, Pittsburgh, and Duke all held their "practices'' at the Garden, beginning with Xavier, with a crowd of a few hundred watching mostly in silence.

    Sitting at courtside was George Mason athletic director Tom O'Connor, who is a member of the NCAA selection committee. Committee members are dispersed at the four regional sites. O'Connor was in Philadelphia last week to see first- and second-round games.

    Another committee member, University of Connecticut athletic director Jeff Hathaway, is also here. When asked about today's report on Yahoo! Sports citing violations in the recruitment of Nat Miles, Hathaway said, "I have no comment." He said the school would have a statement regarding the situation.

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