Xavier earns first No. 1 seed for NCAA Tournament

Xavier’s early exit from the Big East tournament didn’t keep it from collecting the program’s first No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

The No. 3-ranked Musketeers (28-5) will face the winner of the N.C. Central-Texas Southern “First Four” game Friday in Nashville, Tenn.

Xavier won the Big East regular-season title and proved worthy of the No. 4 overall seed after beating St. John’s by 18 points in the Big East quarterfinals. The Musketeers lost to Providence in overtime in the semifinals. They are seeking their first Final Four appearance after just falling short last year during a surprising run to the Elite Eight as a No. 11 seed last year.

The Musketeers’ previous highest regional seeding came in 2016 at No. 2. That year Xavier was ranked as high as No. 5 in the AP Top 25 poll but finished second to eventual NCAA champion Villanova in the regular season and fell to Seton Hall in the conference tournament semifinals. Seventh-seeded Wisconsin ended its season on a buzzer-beater, 66-63, in the second round.

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