Semaj Christon scored a career-high 28 points in Xavier's home victory over Marquette.
March 8, 2014
CINCINNATI --- Xavier has earned a number three seed for next week’s BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. Third-seeded Xavier will play sixth-seeded Marquette at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, the final game of day two of the tournament. Xavier and Marquette split the season series this year with the home team winning both games.
Xavier, 20-11 overall, finished tied for third in the BIG EAST Conference with Providence and St. John’s at 10-8 but earned the number three seed based on its 3-1 combined record vs. the duo (2-0 vs. St. John’s and 1-1 vs. Providence). Xavier finished the regular season with a 77-70 loss to No. 6 Villanova on March 6, XU’s first game without injured junior starting center Matt Stainbrook.
Marquette, 17-14 overall, finished 9-9 in the BIG EAST Conference and earned the number six seed. Marquette has lost three straight games, including back-to-back double overtime heartbreakers, 81-80 at Providence on March 4 and 91-90 to St. John’s on March 8.
This is Xavier’s first BIG EAST Conference Tournament. Xavier won four conference tournament championships in the Atlantic 10 Conference and six tournament championships in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, which is now the Horizon League.
This is just Xavier’s second trip to Madison Square Garden since the 2002-03 season. Xavier defeated St. John’s 65-53 on Feb. 25 at Madison Square Garden.
The two teams seeded ahead of Xavier are No. 6 Villanova, which won the BIG EAST regular season title with a 16-2 record and earned the top seed, and No. 13 Creighton, which finished second at 14-4 and earned the number two seed.
The BIG EAST Tournament presented by NEW YORK LIFE runs March 12-15. The first two games will be played Wednesday involving the bottom four seeded teams. The other six teams take the court on Thursday, including Xavier.