Notre Dame vs. Xavier [Game info and open thread]
About Notre Dame:
The Fighting Irish (22-11) came out of seemingly nowhere to have a very strong season and finish third in the Big East. Behind the tutelage of Mike Brey, who is a National Coach of the Year candidate, Notre Dame posted a strong 13-5 record in conference. They are a low-scoring, defensive-minded team that likes to play games in the 50s and 60s. Their signature win came over then-undefeated Syracuse in January.
The Musketeers (21-12) started the season 8-0, but after an ugly brawl with rival Cincinnati, Xavier's season leveled off. Still, they managed an NCAA bid despite finishing tied for third in the Atlantic-10 thanks to early-season wins over Vanderbilt, Purdue and Cincinnati. They are led by one of the nation's best guards, senior Tu Holloway. He averaged 17.0 points and 5.1 assists per game this year, though is production dipped a bit after the brawl, which he was involved in.
What's at stake?
The winner plays the winner of No. 2 Duke and No. 15 Lehigh.
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