Saturday, January 23, 1999

ESPN may not air Shootout start

The Cincinnati Enquirer

[sleeping in halls]
Hundreds of students slept in the hallways at UC's Shoemaker Center Thursday night to get Crosstown Shootout tickets.
(Glenn Hartong photo)

| ZOOM |
        A Cincinnati basketball fan's worst nightmare: The Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout is being played, and you can't watch it.

        It could happen.

        Thursday night ESPN was scheduled to show the Cincinnati-Louisville game beginning at 9:30, but the game before it — Michigan State-Iowa — ran late. So ESPN didn't get to the UC-Louisville game until three minutes were gone and U of L was leading 9-8.

        The same format is set for Thursday's Xavier-UC Crosstown Shootout. It's also the second game of an ESPN double-header. So if the Wake Forest-North Carolina State game runs long and is close, Cincinnati viewers won't see the start of the XU-UC game.

        “We usually stay with the game until the conclusion,” ESPN spokesman Dean Diltz said. “We use common sense. If one team's up 30, we'll switch.”

        But the Cincinnati market won't be treated any differently from the rest of the country.

        “We make a full national switch,” Diltz said, “not like the networks.”

        The Wake-N.C. State game starts at 7:30p.m., so it likely will be a tight squeeze.

        “Let's hope the first game doesn't go into triple overtime,” Diltz said. “We'd come into UC-Xavier with three minutes left in the half.”


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