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Ogden • When Weber State's name in the NCAA men's basketball tourney draw came up on Sunday, the local reaction was too loud for the Wildcats to hear what the television analysts had to say.

No matter, according to Wildcats coach Randy Rahe.

In fact, he said it wouldn't matter at all if every expert in the land considered Xavier, the second-seed in the East region, a prohibitive favorite over the Big Sky champs.

"They're going to say we'll get beat by 20 and all that kind of stuff. I hope they listen to all of that," Rahe said. "I want them to listen to it all. We'll put a chip on our shoulder and we'll go fight somebody — that's kind of how we've done it all year long."

Weber State, which beat Montana in the Big Sky tournament championship on Saturday, will play Xavier on Friday in St. Louis. The survivor will take on the Wisconsin/Pittsburgh victor in the next round.

Rahe likened Xavier to Arizona, which beat the Wildcats in a 1 vs. 16 matchup in 2014. In that battle of Wildcats, in which current Weber standout Joel Bolomboy was only a sophomore, Arizona took a 69-59 victory.

"They're very similar teams. They're very good man-to-man defensive teams, very physical, very tough and very athletic," Rahe said.

"We're excited as a team. We're going to get prepared and get ready for them," said Weber State junior Jeremy Senglin, who scored 31 in an 83-78 semifinal tourney win over North Dakota. "I've seen them a couple of times on TV, but hadn't really looked at them like that."

Xavier (28-5) held on to a spot on the No. 2-seed line, although the Musketeers were upset by Seton Hall 87-83 in the Big East semifinals Friday.

In the Big Sky conference tourney finale, Weber outlasted Montana 62-59.

Rahe felt like the close Big Sky tournament games could help his Wildcats in St. Louis.

"On Tuesday, we'll start implementing our game plan," said Rahe, acknowledging that it was a quick turnaround to prepare for the next game — but not as quick as his team had the last few days.

"We've given them a bunch of information in a short amount of time. We had, basically, an hour to prepare for Montana," Rahe said. "The were ready. They do a great job of locking in."

Bolomboy, the team's only senior, said that defense will be a key for taking on Xavier and whoever else might lie ahead.

"Going into the NCAA tournament, we have a lot of confidence," Bolomboy said. "Like Coach Rahe said, we're a great defensive team and that's what we rely on. We're at our best right now."