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NCAA Bracket 2012: Xavier To Play Notre Dame In First Round

After landing a No. 10 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Xavier Musketeers will be playing 10th-seeded Notre Dame to kick things off in their first game of the tournament. The Musketeers received an at-large bid from the tournament's selection committee after turning in a 21-12 record during the regular season.

Xavier finished fourth in what was considered one of the top mid major conferences in 2011-2012, the Atlantic 10. In the Atlantic 10 Tournament the Musketeers used a win over 2nd seeded St. Louis to reach the tournament final before losing to conference champion St. Bonaventure.

Xavier now prepares to face 7th seeded Notre Dame an at large selection from the Big East. The Irish struggled out of the gate after facing some fairly high expectations heading into the year. Several tough non conference losses and a slow start in the Big East had many wondering if they would make the tournament.

Then Mike Brey and Notre Dame turned a corner. The Irish used a strong Big East run to climb all the way up to 3rd in the standings. The Irish would then lose in the semifinal round of the Big East tournament to eventual champion Louisville.

Follow the Musketeers in the NCAA Tournament at Banners On The Parkway. For more coverage of Xavier in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Cleveland's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.