Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton added another first to his college experience Sunday.
The freshman, who also pitches for Notre Dame's baseball team, watched the Selection Show for the NCAA tournament for the first time in his life as the Irish were awarded a No. 7 seed in the South Region. Notre Dame (22-11) will play 10th-seeded Xavier (21-12) in the second round at 9:45 p.m. Friday in Greensboro, N.C.
"It was amazing actually, the whole setup and everything," Connaughton said during a teleconference. "I was kind of surprised because I've never seen it before. I know it was on ESPN, but I've never once seen it before. I had no idea what to expect it to be like, what we were supposed to do, like if our name was called if we were supposed to cheer or what was going on, so I tried to go with the flow and follow the older guys."
Connaughton, who averages 6.9 points, said he was able to keep up with how to react pretty well when Notre Dame's named was called.
"When it was finally called we clapped and stuff, so I clapped after them, made sure I stopped right before they clapped, made sure I didn't clap before they clapped and just kind of smiled and was genuinely excited to get to the game," Connaughton said.
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said he knows Xavier is a dangerous team.
The Musketeers are in the tournament for a seventh straight season and were ranked as high as No. 8 this season.
Xavier is led by guards Tu Holloway (17 points per game) and Mark Lyons (15.5). Holloway also dished out 159 assists, Lyons had 83 assists.
"I remember doing the show with Andy Katz in Orlando when we were down there recruiting, and Phil Martelli saying, he was on the panel with me, so we have a dark horse Final Four team in our league, Xavier, and they were kind of a sexy pick for the Final Four early in the season," Brey said. "They beat Georgia, we didn't. They beat Cincinnati, we didn't. So we play a really good team that is controlled by two veteran guards that kind of make them go."