With March Madness approaching, Xavier and Cincinnati will look to make a statement for an NCAA tournament bid, while fans will look for bragging rights.
Last season, Xavier defeated Cincinnati 59-57 at Cintas Center getting a game high 17 points from Myles Davis, but this season’s matchup will not include him.
This season, Xavier welcomed Cullen Barr, Malcolm Bernard, RaShid Gaston, Quentin Gooden, Tyrique Jones, Conor Peterson, and Leighton Schrand to the team, but lost Remy Abell, Larry Austin Jr., Kevin Coker, Myles Davis, James Farr, Makinde London, and Jaylen Reynolds.
Xavier comes into this season’s matchup as the number 22 ranked team in the country with a 14-5 record averaging 76.6 points per game and giving up 68.7 to opponents. A 3.9 offensive and 1.7 opponent decrease from last season’s average.
Just like Xavier, Cincinnati welcomed and lost players since last season’s matchup. They welcomed Jackson Bart, Nysier Brooks, Cane Broome, Jarron Cumberland, John Koz, Tre Scott, and Kyle Washington, but lost Farad Cobb, Coreontae DeBerry, Octavius Ellis, and Shaq Thomas.
Cincinnati comes in as the number 20 ranked team with a 17-2 record averaging 77.3 points per game and hold opponents to just 61.4, which is top 10 in the nation. A 4.0 offensive and 1.9 opponent decrease from last season’s average.
“I am hoping Xavier beats UC for the fourth straight year. I’ve been to a couple of Crosstown Shootouts and it’s different than Xavier games because the atmosphere is a lot better and everyone in the crowd is always more excited for this than just a regular game. I am really looking forward to the offense in the game. Both teams can score the ball really well this year and it should be a close game,” senior Nate Hamad said.
Junior Andrew Wenk and senior Sophie Gorman think differently than Hamad.
“I am going to the game and am looking forward to watching UC win. I have been to a Crosstown Shootout at both Cintas Center and Fifth Third Arena. The atmosphere is crazy wherever the game is played,” Wenk said.
“I have been a proud supporter of the UC Bearcats for a while and this game exemplifies the hometown passion from the fans of both teams. I’ll be wearing my UC gear and looking forward to them coming out with the win and bragging about it to Nate Hamad,” Gorman said.
The Crosstown Shootout will tip off at 7 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Fifth Third Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and tickets are still available here ranging from $69 to $538.