Thursday, July 31, 2003

Crosstown Shootout set for February

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The annual Crosstown Shootout between Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati men's basketball teams is moving from December to February, making it more visible as part of ESPN's "rivalry week."

The game at Xavier's Cintas Center is on ESPN's schedule for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3. Xavier won last year's Crosstown Shootout 50-44 on Dec. 7 in a game that started at 4 p.m. on a Saturday when many college football conference championship games were played.

It has been four seasons since the Crosstown Shootout was played after December. Generally, coaches prefer to play the game early in the season so their conference schedules, which begin in January, will not be interrupted.

But ESPN wanted the game moved to its rivalry week, when it would stand out as one of the marquee matchups. That took cooperation from Conference USA (Cincinnati) and the Atlantic 10 (Xavier) to make sure the teams didn't have a league game too close to the Crosstown Shootout.

In the 70-game history of the Shootout, the game has been played 23 times in February, including a run of 12 straight games from 1970-81.


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