DePaul Blue Demons

Xavier overcame worst slump in 35 years to reach Elite Eight

Xavier didn't look like an Elite Eight team in early March, coming off six straight defeats that led coaches to try to burn the month of February from the players' memories, literally.

Ranked No. 7 in the preseason, the Musketeers had dropped out of the poll and were a bubble team after losing senior guard Myles Davis, point guard Edmond Sumner and top scorer Trevon Bluiett at midseason. Coach Chris Mack had the staff print copies of their February schedule with all its losses, and the players burned them. They've carried the ashes with them to practices and games as a reminder at what they have overcome.

The losses weren't even close during the slump, as Xavier lost each...