Xavier pulled a ten seed from the selection committee today and will be playing the seven seed in the Greensboro pod. That team happens to be the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Notre Dame went 22-11 on the year, inculding a 13-5 mark in Big East play. This will be the second time in as many years that Xavier will face a Big East team in the first round, this coming on the heels of the ill-fated matchup with Marquette last year.
Notre Dame is probably a better draw for Xavier than Marquette was, but the Irish will still pose a few very serious questions for the Muskies. We'll get to those in the game preview, which will run on Thursday. The winner of the Xavier v. Notre Dame game will in all likelihood go on to face Duke in the next round. We'll preview the pod this Monday or Tuesday, but suffice it to say that Xavier will have its work cut out for it to make the second weekend of this year's tournament.
It is worth noting that Xavier and Notre Dame have three common opponents: Georgia, Gonzaga, and Cincinnati. Xavier beat Georgia by 14 at Cintas, while Notre Dame dropped a neutral site game to them by four. Gonzaga got the best of Xavier by seven in Cincinnati on New Year's Eve and opened up a 20-point can on Notre Dame at Gonzaga. Finally, you remember what happened when Xavier played Cincinnati, and UC beat Notre Dame by 16.
There will be a lot more on this game and the whole first weekend for Xavier as we countdown to tipoff on Friday. Stay tuned.