Basketball is a game meant to enjoyed passionately. Unlike the summer-long 162 grind of baseball, basketball is taken 40 minutes at a time in roughly 35-40 chunks a year. You get no more than that, so each game can feel like it's very own beginning or end to something. Frequently, the narrative changes inside the 40 minutes allotted for play. This leads to heightened emotions, and that means the tow most extreme emotions, love and hate. In this series we'll have a look at things that Xavier fans spend their winters loving or hating.
There comes a point in time in the life of some older brothers when they must admit that they have surpassed in something by a younger brother. This can be done with a quiet dignity and pride, or with a lot of insistence that the younger must somehow be cheating at whatever the current endeavor is. There are, of course, those younger brothers who just never come close and somehow walk around with the notion that they are, in fact, superior. That's Dayton.
If there's a Dayton fan out there having someone read this to him, calm down, I know Dayton leads the all-time series by a not at all significant margin. Being a Dayton fan you would go back to games from 1920 to make your point because, well, what else do you have? That 1967 Final Four? Good stuff! There were all of 23 teams in the tournament that year. In the lifetime of almost anyone who reads this site, Xavier is the dominant program, racking up the same amount of Sweet 16s this decade as Dayton has all time.
Despite that, Dayton fans love to talk about their team as if it is nationally relevant. It isn't. It's actually so irrelevant that once Xavier moved out of a conference laden with mid and low major teams, they simply quit scheduling Dayton. This could be because the Flyers don't want to come back to a campus where they haven't won since the Carter administration, or it could be because teams like Xavier don't have a lot to gain from dropping down the conference ladder.
This is written a bit tongue in cheek because, in all honesty, this was a great rivalry. Games against Dayton were generally close, always heated, and sure to spark some animosity. Still, when the season ended, the Flyers were forever the smaller brother, jumping for a ball being held just above their head. They'll never admit that, though, and that's a large part of why we hate Dayton.