Any worry that the Crosstown Shootout would be eclipsed by a handful of football conference championship games vanished somewhere near the end of the first half of play today. At that point, Xavier’s provocateur in chief, Jonathan Paul Macura, had so firmly encamped in the fragile mind of UC Coach Saint Mick Cronin that Cronin was already throwing away points his team couldn’t afford to lose. On this day, the Shootout wasn’t going to be denied.
By the time the game ended and Cronin threw (another) hissy fit at the end, the Shootout was again national news. This time, Coach Mack fired back, defending his player but refusing to be drawn into a war of words with a man who can’t even win those these days. That, however, was merely the tip of a Twitter iceberg.
There is something in UC fan that apparently makes the vast majority of them incapable of losing with anything resembling dignity. Like their sniveling git of a coach, they wheedle and whine, unable to fathom that the loss they have watched eight of the last 11 times was the fault of anything other than cosmic forces arrayed against them.
Let them. There’s no point in engaging with a group of people for whom reason has long since left the building. The best case is, as it is with all people with an overblown sense of self, to ignore them. What mattered today is not that a grown man had to be restrained to keep from attacking a college kid or that a host of sore losers tried to delay the inevitable by throwing balls on the court. What matters is that Xavier further drove a stake into the heart of the idea that UC is somehow a national basketball power.
The Bearcats played no one this season prior to meeting Xavier and that showed the instant they were cowed by a show of what Big East basketball really is. They will now play a handful of other good teams before crawling back to their mid-major conference and the comfort of playing South Florida and East Carolina. Let them. The debate is long since over. Xavier is the better team and the better program. They’ve spent the last decade demonstrating that in every possible measure, and doing so with regularity. The rest of it? All this faffing about about someone using mean words? It’s window dressing intended to distract from what every Cincinnati fan is now being forced to recognize.
Their team simply doesn’t measure up. Xavier- 89, Cincinnati- 76.