Xavier’s revival has been one of the best stories of this college basketball season.
The Musketeers had trouble getting back to the NCAA Tournament after Chris Mack’s exit in 2018, but the return of coach Sean Miller and aggressive use of the transfer portal have pushed the program back toward the top of the Big East.
The Musketeers are one of three Big East teams to make it past the first weekend of March Madness, and their goals are bigger than just the Sweet 16. Miller has never reached the Final Four, so two more wins would lift his career to new heights. Xavier has never reached a Final Four, either.
Here’s what you need to know about the school, including its location and the men’s basketball program’s history.
Where is Xavier located?
Xavier University is located in Cincinnati. It’s a private Jesuit university that was founded in 1831. The school had an undergraduate enrollment of 4,860 as of 2022, with another 1,269 postgraduate students.
Xavier’s basketball team plays its home games at the Cintas Center, also in Cincinnati.
How did Xavier get its name?
Xavier’s name is connected to its Jesuit roots. The school is named after St. Francis Xavier, who lived from 1502 to 1556 and co-founded the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order.
The university’s name has changed twice. Xavier was known as The Athanaeum from 1831 to 1840 and was renamed St. Xavier College from 1840 to 1930. The school took on the Xavier University identity in 1930 and has remained that way ever since.
Why is Xavier called the Musketeers?
Xavier’s nickname doesn’t have any direct connection to St. Francis Xavier or the Jesuits. The school website says Musketeers was adopted in 1925 to “symbolize the ‘All for One, One for All’ spirit of the University.”
There is a statue of D’Artagnan, a fictional character, on Xavier’s campus. D’Artagnan was the protagonist of the famous novel “The Three Musketeers.”
D’Artagnan is also the official mascot of Xavier, though secondary mascot The Blue Blob is arguably better known.
Xavier NCAA Tournament history
Xavier has never reached the Final Four, but the program has been prominent for several decades.
The Musketeers have reached the Elite Eight three times: 2004, 2008 and 2017. Each run was made under a different coach. Thad Matta guided the team in 2004, while Miller was at the helm in 2008 and Mack was on the sidelines in 2017.
Miller would become the first Xavier coach to reach the Elite Eight multiple times if Xavier gets past Texas in the Sweet 16.
Xavier has reached the Sweet 16 in eight of the last 15 NCAA Tournaments. A program that made regular tournament appearances in the 1980s and 1990s has started to play deeper into March since the turn of the century, and a move to the Big East in 2013 helped elevate the Musketeers’ profile.
Published at Fri, 24 Mar 2023 07:20:04 +0000