At this point, Xavier must almost be sad to see DePaul leave.
Despite heading into the Big East Tournament losing six of their last seven, the Musketeers came out strong against one of their favorite foes, riding Trevon Bluiett’s 17 points and nine rebounds en route to a 75-64 first-round win at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. Xavier ended a six-game losing streak Saturday with a victory against the Blue Demons, and their last win before that? Well, that would be DePaul again.
Tenth-seeded DePaul (9-23) led by six with 1:50 left in the first half, before Xavier scored seven of the next nine, capped by J.P. Macura’s long, buzzer-beating three, which drew the Musketeers to within 31-30 at the break.
Bluiett added another three a little more than two minutes into the second half to give Xavier a 38-36 advantage; the Musketeers erupted on a 14-7 then and never relinquished the lead.
The No. 7 Musketeers defeated DePaul twice by double digits in the regular season, as the Blue Demons came into the tournament dropping 13 of their last 14. The Musketeers (20-12) move on to play No. 2 Butler at 7 p.m. Thursday.