posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 06:57 PM
Saint Joseph's first game as the nation's No. 1 team also was its first loss of the season, a shocking 87-67 collapse against unranked Xavier in the
Atlantic-10 quarterfinals Thursday.
The Hawks came in with a 27-0 record, three victories from becoming the first team since 1991 to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated. But they
trailed Xavier by as many as 37 points, and the upset raises questions about how serious a contender the tiny Philadelphia school will be for the
The rout also tarnishes a magical run by a team that was one of the biggest surprises in sports this year, and it could cost Saint Joseph's a top
seeding in the NCAAs.
"I'm assuming that the televisions wherever that committee is meeting didn't work," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said."This was our 20th game
away from our own fieldhouse. We're 19-1 in those games. They (the committee) will understand that. The committee will do us right because of our body
of work. Not 40 minutes."
It's the worst loss ever by a No. 1 team against an unranked team. A partisan crowd began rubbing it in midway through the second half, chanting
Saint Joseph's backcourt stars Jameer Nelson and Delonte West were held to a combined 11-for-35 shooting, and scored 16 points each. Xavier (21-10)
made 71.1 percent of its shots, while holding Saint Joseph's to 35.4 percent -- its worst showing all season.