It was only a few weeks ago that Xavier had an undefeated record, a top 15 ranking and the swagger of a Final Four contender.
Then came the brawl with Cincinnati, suspensions to three of the Musketeers' top four scorers and a slump nobody could have seen coming.
Wednesday night's humbling 80-70 loss at Atlantic 10 foe LaSalle was Xavier's fifth defeat in six games, a skid that has cast doubt on the Musketeers' status as conference favorites and inspired increasing concern among diehard fans. The following quotes from posters on XavierHoops.com are no different than what you'd find on other teams' sites in a similar scenario but they show rising levels of panic as the Musketeers' losses continue to pile up.
• Oral Roberts 64, Xavier 42 (Dec. 18): "We have a very, very good team. We will be back to full strength before you know it, and at full strength, I believe we can run with anyone. This is a top 10 team, and we'll be back there before it's all said and done." (Kahns Krazy)
PANIC LEVEL: LOW
• Long Beach State 68, Xavier 58 (Dec. 22): "I have faith in the boys to turn it around. Mark is back and that greatly improves things. We take 2 games in Hawaii and beat the zags and we will be right back up in top 15." (XUfan4lif3)
PANIC LEVEL: GUARDED
• Hawaii 84, Xavier 82 (Dec. 23): "You have a 3 point lead with less than 10 seconds and a chance to foul a non scorer. DO NOT EVER LET A TEAM TIE YOU. FOUL!" (Masterofreality)
PANIC LEVEL: ELEVATED
• Gonzaga 72, Xavier 65 (Dec. 31): "This is the most down I've felt about Xavier basketball in a long time. I hope this team can regain their edge. Right now they just look like they are depressed and lethargic." (Porkopolis)
PANIC LEVEL: HIGH
• LaSalle 80, Xavier 70 (Jan. 4): "Rooting for this team right now must be what it feels like to be a Cubs fan. ... Obviously the comparison is a little weak putting 6 games of misery next to 100+ years, but it's just how I feel right now" (whiteyxu)
PANIC LEVEL: SEVERE
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