By Jeff Goodman
Chris Mack didn't see it coming.
"I've been a part of this rivalry and guys talk on both sides every year," Xavier's head coach told CBSSports.com. "This was as clean a game as I've seen. The only technical was for me arguing a goaltending call."
"I didn't see it escalating to that point," he added.
By that point, he meant the brawl that ensued with nine seconds left - one that included an array of punches thrown from both sides and one that left Kenny Frease on the ground with blood gushing from his eye, courtesy of a Yancy Gates right hand.
Mack said he will watch the tape later tonight, but was obviously disappointed - especially since the fracas overshadowed a terrific performance from his team.
"Both sides are at fault," he said. "It was terrible the way it ended."
Mack also said he regrets not pulling his starters - Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons and Kenny Frease - late with the game in hand.
"They were pressing at the end and there wasn't a dead ball," he said. "In hindsight, I should have called a timeout - but I didn't want to be that coach who calls a timeout, rubbing it in their face."
"But I wish I would have," Mack added.
Mack said he expects the A-10 to take action within the next day - as far as suspensions were concerned.
"I couldn't even begin to say who will or should get suspended," Mack said. "I need to watch the tape."
"But one thing I do know," he added. "Is that it takes away from the game and the rivalry -- and it shouldn't be like that."Photo: US PRESSWIRE