The key to Xavier's, UCLA's turnaround
It was Mike Tyson in his prime who regularly took on hopelessly overmatched opponents. When one of them ran his mouth about what he would do to the heavyweight champion at a prefight press conference, Tyson followed the five-minute rant by saying, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
It's the same way with the basketball season. When a team gets figuratively "punched in the face" and has to handle the adversity of a major injury, an unexpected losing streak or the suspension of key players, how it reacts is the key to the season.
While most teams are in "crisis management" mode at different points during the season, there are a number of college basketball teams that are dealing with more than their share of it already. Let's look at a few of them, how they've handled adversity and where they go from here.
When I was watching the final moments of the Xavier-Cincinnati game, which the Musketeers had thoroughly dominated, I was thinking about Bearcats coach Mick Cronin and how he was going to pull his team out of its early-season slump. It had already suffered home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall. Xavier, on the other hand, was about to win its eighth game in a row and hover around the top 10 in the polls.
Then all hell broke loose.
To read exactly how Xavier and UCLA can improve, as well as full college hoops coverage at ESPN Insider, sign up today.