Xavier jumped out to a 15-point lead less than 10 minutes into its first-round East Regional game with No. 15-seed Weber State and was never seriously threatened in a 71–53 win. Senior forward James Farr continued his stellar late-season play with a game-high 18 points and 15 rebounds off the bench for the Musketeers, which shot 50.0% from three-point range and never let the Wildcats get closer than seven points in the second half.
Why it matters
After seeing a fellow No. 2 seed ousted in stunning fashion earlier in the day on the same Scottrade Center court in St. Louis Xavier made certain it would not fall into the same trap that had ensnared Michigan State in its loss to Middle Tennessee. While the Spartans had fallen behind 15-2 in that game earlier on Friday, the Musketeers were the ones that delivered an opening haymaker, running out to a 21-6 lead. Farr, who entered the game averaging 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds, had four points, eight rebounds and a block in that opening stretch. Xavier has mostly relied on Trevon Bluiett, Edmond Sumner and Myles Davis, its three leading scorers, but the improved play of Farr, the team's leading scorer, makes them even more dangerous as the Musketeers chase the first Final Four berth in school history.
Xavier will face Wisconsin, a 47-43 winner over No. 10 Pittsburgh earlier in the day, on Sunday with a berth in the regional finals on the line. The Musketeers are looking to get to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in coach Chris Mack's seven seasons. And with No. 3 seed West Virginia having also been upset on Friday, Xavier suddenly has a wide-open path to its first Elite Eight since 2008.