“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”, yes everyone it’s Christmas time or the holiday season if that’s how you roll. More importantly it’s college basketball season!!!!! With all the early season tournament games out of the way we find ourselves in a mixture of warm up games, conference v. conference games, and best of all rivalry games. Cincinnati, Ohio is home to some famous chili and an even better inner-city rivalry, and no it’s not Skyline chili vs Gold Star chili (Skyline by 90), it is the Xavier University Musketeers vs the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.
Growing up in Cincinnati you are presented with one of two options Xavier or UC, that is it. Even if you don’t take sides, you end up taking sides for the Crosstown Shootout.
UC is a public state school with about 44,000 students. UC has two national champions from when John F. Kennedy was President and the field was made up of 25 teams. One of Cincinnati’s most notable players was Oscar Robertson, who is the all time scoring leader at UC. Cincinnati plays in the American Athletic Conference currently and since 2000 has 4 C-USA regular season titles 1 AAC regular season title, 2 C-USA tournament titles, and gone as far as the Sweet Sixteen twice in 2001 and 2012, never having gotten past the Sweet Sixteen in this century.
Xavier University is a smaller Jesuit university with around 6,000 students. Xavier has never won an national championship, aside from the NIT in 1958. Xavier switched over from the A-10 to the Big East during the conference realignment of the Catholic 7 in 2013. Since 2000 Xavier has seven A-10 regular season championships, three A-10 conference tournament championships, advanced to seven Sweet Sixteens, and gone to the Elite Eight three times. Xavier is one of the most successful teams to have never won the NCAA tournament.
In terms of all time success Cincinnati is ranked the 10th best program of all time by the AP, while Xavier sits at 53rd spot. These are two great program that just get to battle it out for bragging rights every year. Xavier won the first meeting between the two, however Cincinnati leads the all-time series 50-34. Since the 2000-2001 season Xavier has won 11 of the 17 meeting. Last year Cincinnati won the Crosstown shootout, but crashed out in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament while Xavier advanced to the Elite Eight. Twice Xavier has played spoiler to UC’s #1 ranking, both coming in the 1990’s.
These games are usually close and intense, pitting ranked team vs ranked team. This year marks the third straight year in which both teams will be ranked. The match up promises to be a good one with UC currently at #11 and Xavier at #21. The game will tipoff at 12:00 EST/11:00 CT on FS1.
Please enjoy the upsets.