Xavier University didn’t earn a home game for the first-round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But the Musketeers landed the next best thing.
Xavier was one of eight teams to draw invites to the University of Dayton for the First Four portion of March Madness.
- Albany (N.Y.) (18-14) will play Mount St. Mary’s (16-16) in the 6:40 p.m. Tuesday opener. Both are No. 16 seeds.
- Cal Poly (13-19) plays Texas Southern (19-14) in Wednesday’s 6:40 p.m. opener. Both are No. 16 seeds.
- Iowa (20-12) is matched against Tennessee (21-12) in Wednesday’s 9:10 p.m. nightcap of No. 11 seeds.
Those are the only four NCAA tournament games — men or women — that will be played at UD Arena.
The Albany-Mt. St. Mary’s winner goes to the South Region and faces No. 1 seed Florida in Thursday’s second round at Orlando, Fla. All the other First Four winners will be lumped in the Midwest Region.
The Xavier-NC State winner gets No. 5 seed Saint Louis on Thursday, also at Orlando. The Cal Poly-Texas Southern winner is matched against top-seeded Wichita State on Friday at St. Louis. Finally, The Iowa-Tennessee winner is paired against No. 6 seed Massachusetts on Friday at Raleigh, N.C.
Xavier was defeated by Creighton 86-78 in Friday’s Big East semifinal in New York. Duke defeated NC State 75-67 in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals. NC State is led by ACC player of the year T.J. Warren.
Xavier has been invited to the NCAA tournament eight of the last nine seasons and 12 of the last 14. This also is Xavier’s 24th season to play in the tourney. The Musketeers have amassed a 21-23 record.
Mount St. Marys (Northeast), Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic), Albany (America East) and Cal Poly (Big West) all won their conference championships to earn First Four berths. Xavier, NC State, Iowa and Tennessee received at-large bids.
First Four tickets are available at the UD Arena box office. Limited tickets also are available at www.ncaa.com/final-four/tickets-hospitality or by calling (877) 622-2849.
UD Arena has hosted the most men’s games in tournament history (101), with Municipal Auditorium at Kansas City second (83).
UD has hosted the First Four since it expanded to eight teams in 2011. Prior to that, UD Arena also was the site of the play-in game from 2001-10. Those games were labeled the opening round.