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NCAA tournament hopefuls Xavier draw Auburn in the Maui Invitational first round

Apparently this is a different Xavier program than the one that has been in 16 of the last 18 tournaments. Frickin disrespectful.

Thanks, CBS!

Xavier will tip off their Maui Invitational against Auburn in Game 1 on November 19. Auburn, with all-around standup guy Bruce Pearl at the helm, has experienced something of a renaissance in basketball terms of late and are widely regarded as a team with top ten potential. Xavier is once again back at the start of the same "the king is dead, long live the king" cycle that the program has grown through since the Staak era.

The other two teams on Xavier's side of the bracket are Duke and San Diego State. Across the bracket, Arizona will start with Iowa State and Gonzaga will take on Illinois. The matchups are obviously set for Duke-Auburn and Arizona-Gonzaga in the semis and then a marquee final involving two of those teams.

It's fairly obvious that nobody rates Xavier in this tournament specifically or this year in general. With a young squad growing into new roles and significant transfer talent needing blooded in, Maui is going to be a huge early test for X, but the lessons learned in November may well pay dividends in March.