March 14, 2001
From the Associated Press
GAME: No. 11 Xavier (21-7) vs. No. 6 Notre Dame (19-9).
REGION: Midwest, first round
TIME: Friday, 10:25 p.m. EST.
SITE: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo.
Notre Dame will play in its first NCAA tournament in more than a decade
the Irish face Xavier in the first round on Friday.
The Irish were expecting more than a No. 6 seed when they clinched the
East West division crown with two games to play in the regular season. But
after three straight losses, including a first-round upset by Pittsburgh in
Big East tourney, Notre Dame is thankful for the chance to face No. 11
at Kemper Arena.
"We're moving on to bigger and better things," said small forward David
Graves. "This is a revitalization for us."
Before its current losing skid, Notre Dame had won a school-record
straight games. Irish coach Mike Brey believes the end-of-season slump will
have no lingering affect on his team.
"You can throw out the whole momentum thing, it's a whole new world,"
said. "There'll be teams that finish strong that will get on a roll.
be teams that finish strong that will be gone in the first round."
Notre Dame, which last played in the NCAA tournament in 1990, is 14-3
lifetime against Xavier and has taken 11 of the last 12 contests, including
in last season's postseason NIT.
The Musketeers are led by Atlantic-10 player of the year, center David
whose presence in the middle could allow Xavier to beat the Irish.
"(He) was our game plan all year to get us 21 wins," said point guard
Maurice McAfee said. "He wasn't the player of the year in the Atlantic 10
The Musketeers were beaten by George Washington, 83-74, in the first
of their conference tournament. Like Notre Dame, Xavier closed with a 6-4
record over its last 10 games.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Xavier - F Lloyd Price (9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Kevin
(11.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg), C David West (17.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg), G McAfee (9.5 ppg,
apg) G Romain Sato (11.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg). Notre Dame - F Ryan Humphrey (14.3
9.0 rpg ), F Troy Murphy (22.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg), C Harold Swanagan (4.3 ppg,
rpg), G Martin Ingelsby ( 8.0 ppg, 6.7 apg ), G Matt Carroll (12.6 ppg, 5.0
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Xavier - At-large bid, Atlantic-10 Conference. Notre
- At-large bid, Big East Conference.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Xavier - 6-12, 12 years. Notre Dame -