The one thing you know about the Crosstown Shootout is that it's not going to go the way you think. If one team is ranked high, the other is likely to win or make it close.
And so with Xavier looking awful in the last few weeks and UC ranked 19th in the country, one could only assume the Musketeers would have a decent shot at winning this year for the third straight time.
Xavier leads 31-26 at halftime. It's been physical, of course, and at least two UC players have had to be restrained by teammates or coaches.
I, for one, like the intensity of this game. Would be great if both teams played with this kind of fire every night. I don't like that the game has had less buildup and media coverage this week in the wake of the Bengals and Brian Kelly. Because I know when the game is about to be played, it's going to be as intense as any game any time.
That's what makes it the rivalry it is, even though both coaches hate this game.
Quick thoughts on first half:
-- What's going on with Deonta Vaughn? How can one of UC's all-time leading scorers go scoreless for a game and a half (he went scoreless against Miami on Thursday night and hasn't scored yet tonight)?
-- Xavier's Jordan Crawford only has four points; he averages 18.5 ppg.
-- Ibrahima Thomas is making his UC debut. He airballed his first shot and has one basket (*a dunk) in the first half.
-- Best student chant of first half: Bri-an Kel-ly, Bri-an Kel-ly.