They will play the aforementioned Seminoles from Florida State, the 9th seed, in Nashville, with an approximate tip off time of 8:50 PM Central time on Friday, March 16. Xavier is the fourth ranked one seed with the only real scary team being the two seeded North Carolina Tar Heels.
Florida, Florida State and Miami - a No. 6 seed in the South Region - were the only schools from Florida to earn invitations.
Of course the selection committee could have given the entire KC area what they wanted, but they failed. A major disappointment for both fan bases.
Also, with the Friday-Sunday schedule, the Tigers could have guard Jordan Barnett back for the second round if they beat the Seminoles. Things changed this season under Martin as the Tigers returned to relevancy in a stronger, deeper Southeastern Conference, becoming one of eight SEC programs to make the field of 68.
"I was praying to God we didn't end up in Wichita", he said. The game featured superstar freshman Michael Porter, Jr. He transformed his career from a player who played the bench in Texas to a possible National Basketball Association player after his performance as a Tiger. On paper this looks like a bad matchup for the Tigers as FSU has the offense to shoot the lights out and the size to shut us down on the defensive side.
The Noles scored 90 or more points nine times this year, and have three players - Phil Cofer, Terance Mann and Braian Angola-Rodas - averaging around 13 points per game.
They've already made good on what Martin told them before the season: "You'll be the team that said they turned it around". "We've managed to get to this point". So Tiger fans, put on your dancing shoes and get ready for Friday.
It was going to be challenging enough for MU to find its identity and flow and mojo in just its second game with Porter returning from back surgery, considering the understandable absence of feel for each other that showed up in the Tigers' 62-60 loss to Georgia in the SEC quarterfinals.