In Cincinnati they call it the "Crosstown Shootout" and it is considered the highlight of the College Basketball year for Xavier and Cincinnati, both solid NCAA Tournament contenders almost every year.
And it is usually a close game, both teams are competitive. Xavier has had more success over the years and this year, they handed it to Cincinnati 76-53 in a game that won't be remembered for the play, it will be remembered for the horrible, low-class, low-rent, idiotic brawl that caused the game to end 9 seconds early.
The brawl left Xavier center Kenny Frease with a bloody, beaten eye after a serious sucker punch from Cincinnati's Yancey Gates. Gates also threw a ball off of Xavier guard Mark Lyons face. Lyons and Xavier guard Tu Holloway were also in the middle of it, and arguable were at the beginning of the brawl.
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Read Cincinnati.com's version of what happened RIGHT HERE
Ok. First and foremost, there are going to be a few suspensions stemming from this. Multiple players were involved and far too many punches were thrown.
Perhaps the most galling part of this are the comments afterwards. Xavier's Mark Lyons saying "It was the younger guys yapping". Hollaway saying "They disrespected us". Hollaway also added what could possibly be classified as the most idiotic quote of all-time when he said in the post game presser, "We got a whole lot of gangsters in our locker room. Not thugs, but tough guys on the court. And we went out there and zipped them up at the end of the game. That's our motto, zip 'em up. And that's what we just did to them"
Yeah, great. Way to draw sympathy there Tu...
Having lived most of the past two years in Cincinnati, we fully realize this is what passes for major college sports in the city. And we realize fans for both teams are probably laughing in some way about it.
There is NOTHING that can excuse this. You can talk all the crap you want. You can hate the other team all you want. You CAN'T have fights like this.
There are rivalries all over the country that are far more entertaining, serious, cutthroat and mean more than this one does. But you don't see the players fighting like that. EVER!
We can only hope the Atlantic 10, The Big East and the NCAA will take the appropriate actions and suspend all the players involved for multiple games. That in the end will hurt both teams when it comes time for conference and NCAA tournament time and it should. Then maybe the players and the idiot fans will understand there is ZERO excuse for that kind of behavior.
You really should check out the post game press conference from Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. It's eye-opening, though you'll have to wait a couple of minutes. And no it isn't embeddable, you can click on the link RIGHT HERE
We give Cronin major props for his honesty.