Xavier advances to Sweet 16, will face former coach Sean Miller

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Xavier held off mid-major darling Georgia State on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 with a 75-67 victory.

In the West Region semifinals, the Musketeers will meet the Arizona Wildcats, coached by former Xavier coach Sean Miller.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Chris Mack called Sean Miller one of his “best friends in the business.” (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Miller coached the Musketeers from 2004 to 2009, leading the team to four NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight and an additional Sweet 16.

Current Xavier coach Chris Mack was an assistant under Miller and has had his won record of success in six seasons since taking over for his former boss. This will be his third Sweet 16, and he has missed the Big Dance just once.

Going against a close friend and ex-boss will be a bit emotional for Mack.

“It’s really tough,” Mack said after Friday’s win. “I don’t think it’s tough for (the players) because they don’t really know Sean. … Sean gave me a heck of an opportunity to come back to my alma mater (as an assistant). He put a lot of responsibility and trust in me. He ultimately really pushed for me to become the head coach, and for that I’m eternally grateful. It’s hard to play against one of your best friends in the business. But it really won’t matter to our guys, nor will it matter to Arizona, because they don’t know me from a bucket of paint.”

Xavier and Arizona will meet Thursday night for a trip to the Elite Eight.

 

All quotes transcribed by ASAP Sports.

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