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Rivalry Week continues:

The Xavier vs. Dayton tradition

By Danny O'Malley
On February 14, 2012

Since their establishments, both Xavier and Dayton have

made names for themselves from their impacts on the

world to their academic successes.

The schools have a similar identity: both are located in Ohio,

both are private Catholic institutions and both have roughly the same size student populations. However, the biggest similarity lies in both schools' love for and dedication to their basketball programs.

When it comes to college basketball, the Musketeers and the Flyers are like two peas in a pod. Where one goes, the

other follows. In February of 1920, the two schools

played their first game against each other with Dayton pulling

out a 24-18 victory. Now we sit in February of 2012, a whole 92 years later, and the two teams continue to duke it out on the basketball court every year.

As it became custom to play each other every year, both universities felt the tension build as they looked to claim a victory for this region of Ohio. Dayton made its first NCAA

men's Division I basketball tournament in 1952.

Xavier was not far behind, making its first tournament

appearance in 1961. After many years of games against each other and a developed desire to defeat each other, the

Blackburn/McCafferty trophy was established in the 1980-81 season. This trophy became a concrete symbol of the rivalry. It is named after Tom Blackburn, a former Dayton coach, and Jim McCafferty, a former Xavier coach. After each game, the winning team is awarded the trophey to hold until the next meeting. In addition to the trophy, there is a Most Valuable Player for each game. Dayton's Kevin Dillard is

the reigning MVP for his efforts in last month's win. Dayton joined Xavier in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1988, which only heightened the importance of each game they played against each other. Soon after, Dayton and Xavier both joined the Atlantic 10 conference in 1995.

As it currently stands, Dayton has beaten Xavier 84 times while the Musketeers have defeated the Flyers 72 times. Even though Xavier has been the dominant team in recent years, Dayton is seeking to change this statistic by beating Xavier this Saturday, just as they did in January. The Musketeers are looking to extend their 26-game home winning streak against the Flyers, dating back to Jan. 10, 1981. Even after 92 years, the rivalry between both of these Catholic universities continues to radiate into the college basketball world, exciting players and fans alike.

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