Xavier Part Of NCAA 'First Four' Matching Up In Dayton


UPDATED: Tuesday March 18, 2014 12:50 PM

Get on an interstate, drive less than an hour, play in an arena that's been a mainstay on your schedule. It seems like Xavier has a built-in advantage for its opening NCAA game.
    
Those slow-to-forget Dayton fans will try to negate it.
    
The Musketeers (21-12) play a First Four game against North Carolina State (21-13) on Tuesday night at the University of Dayton Arena, where Xavier has played many memorable games against the rival Flyers before moving into the Big East this season. Coach Chris Mack expects the Musketeers to get booed by the home crowd.
    
The teams have never played, but have one close tie. Semaj Christon, Xavier's leading scorer, was the roommate of T.J. Warren, the ACC's player of the year and top scorer, at Brewster Academy.

In the other game...

Both are No. 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Both are making their fourth March Madness appearance. Both earned a spot by coming out of nowhere to win their conference tournament.
    
That's about where the similarities end for Mount St. Mary's (16-16) and Albany (18-14).
    
When the two meet Tuesday night in the First Four at the University of Dayton, it will be a dramatic contrast in styles. The Mountaineers, champs of the Northeast Conference, like to run and pump up 3s. The Great Danes, winners of the American East, prefer to pound it inside.
    
The winner gets a questionable door prize: A quick turnaround against overall No. 1 seed Florida on Thursday in its home state.
    
But that's for discussion later. Right now, both are basking in the spotlight.

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