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Who Is Xavier's Biggest Rival?


By Andrew Bush
On August 31, 2011

W hen the Musketeers take the field to do battle with another school in one of Xavier's 18 Division One sports, our athletes perform at a high level. Some matchups especially raise the intensity. This statement remains true especially when the University of Dayton Flyers and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats appear on the schedule. Both the Flyers and the Bearcats serve as bitter rivals of Xavier, but the question is, which one is the biggest athletic rival? The University of Dayton and Xavier have been  competing against one another in basketball since 1920 and although it has been very onesided in

Xavier's favor the past couple of years, UD leads the alltime  series. With Dayton comes the animosity of another Catholic university in s o u t h w e s t Ohio and a fan base so arrogant that they make Muhammad Ali seem timid. Over the last 25 years, the stigma that they are our "little brother up north"  has started to emerge. Since the inception of the Blackburn/McCafferty Trophy in the 1980-81 season,  Xavier has a dominating 33-18 lead. Additionally, a good deal of our parents were in college the last

time Dayton beat XU in Cincinnati on January 10, 1981. Between pictures of presidents dating back to  Jimmy Carter, "No Fly Zone" shirts and an occasional use of a four-letter word, it really puts fire into the bellies of the Xavier faithful. Xavier's just a few miles away from campus lies the campus of the  University of Cincinnati. UC is more than just our opponent in the Crosstown Shootout; they present a massive turf battle too. In 2009, the last time they cameto the Cintas Center, Xavier won a heart- pumping double overtime game that included some flying fists, clutch shots and a comeback for the ages. After the game, I distinctly remember hearing the lyrics to Jay-Z's "Run This Town" blaring through Buenger Hall of all places, during quiet hours of finals. There has been plenty of bad blood  between the two sides, especially when Bob Huggins was the coach of the Bearcats in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since his exit the series has tilted. Xavier has won 11 of the last 15 Shootouts. So who is our biggest rival? The answer last year was Butler. We all r e m e m b e r how the basketball team got  robbed at Hinkle in 2009. Beating Butler's brains was on everyone's mind, which we did in an epic white-out. On the whole, I give the rivalry edge to Dayton. It goes beyond basketball with us both in the A-10. From first-hand experience, my dislike of them grew tenfold in the Volleyball A-10 Championship  in the Cintas Center last year. Try going to a game in the UD Arena; LeBron James might as well be  their mascot and their band looks like the Globetrotters on speed. Xavier hoop-legend C.J. Anderson  agrees with me too. When asked which he thought was a bigger rival, he replied "Dayton" in an  explosion of more four letter words. 

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