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Why Bill Murray is at Xavier basketball games in the NCAA tournament

It’s a family thing.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Xavier vs Providence Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Murray has been a regular fixture at Xavier Musketeers basketball games for years. Murray was all over TV during Big East tournament and NCAA tournament last year.

He’s back for the Musketeers’ 2018 run in March Madness, too:

Murray is often plastered on your television screen during Xavier games, looking just as jolly and Bill Murray-like as one would expect.

Such was the case on the tournament’s opening weekend last year, when Xavier beat Maryland and Florida State to clinch a spot in the Sweet 16. Murray was in the house when Xavier shocked Arizona in that round, too.

bill murray xavier

Murray is at these games because of his son.

Luke Murray is finishing up his second year as an assistant to Chris Mack, Xavier’s head coach. For the two years before that, he was an assistant at Rhode Island under Danny Hurley. And back then, Bill showed up at Luke’s games, too, because dads do that. He’s probably been showing up at Luke-coached and Luke-played games for many years.

Before his time at Rhode Island, Luke was an assistant at Towson and Wagner. Before that, he was a graduate assistant at Arizona under Sean Miller in 2009-10. The Wildcats missed the NCAA tournament that year, so last season and this one have been Luke’s first opportunities in the Big Dance. Bill gets to watch, which is great.

Here’s what Mack says about Luke in his official Xavier bio:

"Luke is one of the top young assistant coaches in America. His efforts here so far and at Towson and URI have demonstrated his ability to both attract talented players and coach them successfully. I have known Luke for a number of years and it is evident he has a passion for Xavier Basketball."

It seems pretty cool that Bill Murray’s at all these games.

Murray is a comedian and, therefore, a man of the people. At the Maryland game, he interacted with fans of the enemy and seemed cool about it.

Anybody would seem cool wearing Murray’s shades in that photograph, but anyway, he was clearly gracious about the photo op.

Murray also greeted all comers during halftime.

I’m not sure if Xavier is as much of a love for Murray as the Chicago Cubs. (Recall that Murray was giving interviews and dousing people with champagne when the Cubs won the World Series last fall.) But family’s family, and Murray is clearly serious about Xavier. Wherever the Musketeers go this spring, Murray is likely to follow.