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Time to Dance: Xavier, Atlantic-10

Who? The Musketeers of Xavier.

What? For reasons completely beyond my comprehension, Xavier is represented by a blue furry blob. They have a musketeer by the name of D'Artagnan, too, but he tends to hang out with the guys more.

Where? Cincinnati, Ohio, home of America's first professional baseball team.

When? March 7th, in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Why? Because they won the Atlantic 10 conference tournament.

How? It was just another day at the office for Ta'Shia Phillips, who put up 26 points and 15 rebounds to power Xavier past a slow start and the upstart Dayton Flyers, 67-60.

Surprise? Not really. Xavier was undefeated in conference play.

Who's driving this thing, anyway? Kevin McGuff, since 2002. He's rebuilt a program that players want to play for.  (I can't say built.  Melanie Balcomb would kill me, though her Musketeers took a flying leap into the abyss in her last season.)

RPI: 9

SOS: 60

Record: 28-2 (16-0)

Best win: Michigan (A)

Worst loss: Stanford (A)

Notable results: For most teams, a loss to Stanford is nothing to be ashamed of- but Xavier got their doors blown off in that game.


Most teams would kill to have either 6-5 senior Amber Harris or 6-6 senior Ta'Shia Phillips. Together, they're a lethal combination inside that grinds down most opponents and opens up opportunities for Tyeasha Moss and Katie Rutan from the outside. Harris leads the team in scoring with 18.8 points, but her 10.3 rebounds are second to Phillips's 12.4. The bigs also manage to stay in the game; Harris averages one and a half fouls per game, while Phillips commits slightly over two. And in case it was not yet obvious enough that Phillips is a force to be reckoned with, she's shooting over 60% from the field.