No. 1 seed Xavier plays Texas Southern coming off 1st win
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) No. 1 seed Xavier (28-5) vs. No. 16 seed Texas Southern (16-19)
South Region; Nashville, Tennessee, Friday, 7:20 p.m. ET
BOTTOM LINE: The Xavier Musketeers will play their first ever game as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, a task made a little easier by its opponents challenging travel schedule. Texas Southern beat North Carolina Central on Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio and then had to make a quick turnaround to make the trip to Nashville.
EXPERIENCED MUSKETEERS: Not only is Xavier an NCAA Tournament regular, the Musketeers have reached the Sweet 16 six times in the last 10 years. The Musketeers lost to Gonzaga in the Elite Eight last year, and the top three scorers from that team along with four starters are back for this trip. Trevon Bluiett is Xavier's top scorer averaging 21.3 points along with fellow seniors J.P. Macura (13 points per game) and Sean O'Mara (10.5 points per game). Texas Southern just won its first NCAA Tournament game in the program's eighth trip.
BLUIETT'S IMPORTANCE: Xavier has been campaigning for player of the year attention for the senior guard, and the best reason why might be Musketeers' 20-1 record when Bluiett is the leading scorer. Bluiett, who already holds the school record for career 3-pointers with 315, has 101 this season. The guard needs only three more 3s to tie Lenny Brown's school record of 104 set in 1998-99.
NEVER MET: This will be the first game between these programs.
NOT INTIMIDATED: Even though Texas Southern is facing a No. 1 seed, the SWAC tournament champs aren't going to be swayed by the seeding or the name on the opponent's jersey. Texas Southern opened the season losing its first 13 games - all on the road - against the likes of Gonzaga, Kansas, Clemson, Washington State, Ohio State, Oregon and Baylor.
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