By virtue of being in the third-place game, both teams are licking their wounds from a loss. Those losses transpired rather differently, however. Xavier played Duke pretty decently, ultimately falling short, 71-64.
Gonzaga, on the other hand, was outclassed and outgunned by a Purdue Boilermaker team intent on making a statement. It was the second big loss for the Zags this season. Last week, they rebounded from the Texas debacle with a calm, collected, and solid win over Kentucky. How the Zags rebound from whatever happened late Friday evening will be worth watching.
Xavier might be looking to make a statement as well. The Musketeers haven’t defeated Gonzaga since 1960. Since then, the Zags are 4-0, including the last time around in which the Zags denied Xavier’s chances of making the Final Four for the first time in the 2017 Elite Eight.