SBD/June 15, 2012/Colleges

Cincinnati, Xavier To Renew Rivalry Game With New Name And Neutral Venue

The annual rivalry game between the Cincinnati and Xavier men's baketball teams "will return in December with a new name, new venue and a renewed focus on positively impacting the city," according to Shannon Russell of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. School officials Thursday announced The Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic "will be played at U.S. Bank Arena for the next two years on a trial basis with annual reassessments." The new-look series features "a new logo and a beneficiary in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which will receive a portion of the ticket sales divided equally between the schools." The joint announcement came "nearly six months after a bench-clearing brawl ruined Xavier's 76-53 win" over Cincinnati at Cintas Center, and prompted "player suspensions from both teams and forced officials to re-evaluate a rivalry that began in 1928." Neither Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin nor Xavier coach Chris Mack "were opposed to playing future games on the neutral court." Both Cincinnati AD Whit Babcock and Xavier AD Mike Bobinski "have had experience in major rivalries played at neutral sites." Xavier President Father Michael Graham "pointed to other neutral-site rivalries as a reason the Classic can succeed before large fan bases from Cincinnati and Xavier" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/15).
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