Heated exchange between Xavier teammates Souley Boum and Adam Kunkel showcases high stakes of March Madness


March Madness brings out all emotions, from elation to devastation and everything in between. All of the emotions were on display for Xavier during Friday’s win over Kennesaw State. 

Musketeers starters Souley Boum and Adam Kunkel had a heated exchange while Xavier was trying to battle back from a deficit against the Owls.

Boum bumped Kunkel as the two teams went to timeout, exchanging words with his teammate, and Kunkel was seen yelling at Boum from across the huddle during the timeout. 

Xavier survived and advanced, edging out Kennesaw State thanks largely to a clutch block by Jack Nunge in the final seconds of regulation. 

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Cooler heads prevailed once the win was secured. 

“Me and AK, we fine man,” Boum told reporters after the game. “I love that dude. We love each other. I mean, it’s March Madness,” he added. 

Boum said the exchange was “nothing personal,” citing the emotions of the tournament. “We hugged it out in the locker room and we fine,” Boum said. 

It’s tough to blame Xavier players for showing some passion. The Musketeers allowed 43 points in the first half and trailed by as much as 13 in the second half.

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Xavier tightened the screws defensively in the second half and held the Owls to 24 points. Considering Kennesaw State nearly took the lead in the closing seconds, there was no path to victory for Xavier without huge improvement on that end. 

The Musketeers faced a similar deficit against DePaul in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament last week, so they’re making a habit of rallying for wins. As they advance, though, they might need this kind of energy from Boum, Kunkel, and the rest of the team earlier in games.