It was the Crosstown Shootout that brought Banners on the Parkway to life. At some point in time all the invective two much younger men could build up had to find a public outlet somewhere and, very early in 2011, that was here. The Shootout probably holds a station something like that in the lives of most Xavier fans. Everyone can remember where they were when Lenny Brown hung in the air and made UC #2 in their own city (sick on the couch), when Lloyd Price picked Steve Logan at midcourt (pacing around the same couch), or when it all went sideways on Dez Wells (listening covertly during a family birthday lunch). Xavier and UC is in some ways the focal point of the regular season. To help you continue to get prepped, here's a primer of the recent matchups.
This was not a good game in any way. Jeff Robinson did Jeff Robinson things, Tu Holloway went 2-13 from the floor and turned the ball over four times and Xavier got completely routed. At the 12:30 mark Xavier was down by 13 and they never got any closer. This wasn't one of those games where the score wasn't fitting of the contest. It was, and Xavier was dreadful.
If the game before was the kind that most Musketeer fans want to forget, this would be the game that they never will. Xavier tore apart the Bearcats for 39:50 and then, well: "When the clock struck ten seconds though, no one was watching Mark Lyons. Tu Holloway had just scored on a backdoor cut and, having taken his abuse all week, he decided to let the city know. Holloway had 17/2/6 and was brilliant controlling the game from his point guard position. As he game back down the court after his bucket, he approached the UC bench to let them know that he ran this city. After that, things went sideways. The fight was just starting, but the game, the game was long dead."
Call this one a huge win for the Musketeers and a huge loss for the game. The Must Reads over on the side will give you the full story as well as any refresher on despising Saint Mick that you may have required. Regardless of who was at fault or what should have been done, this game has marred Xavier's reputation for so long that the insufferable Nick Bahe still mentions it on every broadcast.
I had forgotten that this was actually the second blowout in recent history. This game was ugly and tense and featured two genuinely horrific offenses going toe to toe to see who could be the worst. James Farr played one minute, Brad Redford shot 2-10, Semaj went down with cramping, UC tried to beat Dee Davis into submission. In a a game with a bizarre feel and very little actual zip, Xavier got thumped.
Feeling their oats a little bit, Bearcats and Bearcat fans alike took this opportunity to taunt the better team across town. Click through on the link to read a litany of insults that we cribbed directly from the hack writing at Down the Drive that proceeded this game. Come game time, though, UC fans were oddly quiet and, by the end, oddly absent. Xavier led by 16 at the half as a chorus of "Who's Kilpatrick?" echoed through the final neutral site to host the game. This was destruction of a team that so very richly deserved it.
The Dee Davis Game. Xavier tried to throw this one away, but their senior point guard wouldn't let it happen. 40 minutes, 16 points, 5-5 from behind the arc, a single turnover, eight assists, three rebounds, and a performance for Shootout history were what Dee managed to come up with when his team needed it most. Dee buried a nails three pointer down the stretch to hold off the surging Bearcats and Trevon Bluiett iced the game at the line. Oh, and this all came on the road in a game that both teams desperately needed to get some bubble moment going. Xavier carried that all the way to the Sweet 16. UC didn't.
So that is recent Shootout history. Xavier has won the last two, but two blowout losses aren't that far in the past. The first game post-Brawl was a tepid and odd affair, but the heat is back in the old rivalry. For the first time since that day in December of 2011, the Shootout is back on Xavier's campus. It's time to go.