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Gamethread: Xavier Musketeers @ Cincinnati Bearcats

The final non-conference contest for both schools; this one's huge. Can the Bearcats defense hold Xavier's balanced offensive attack in check?

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

So you've browsed through our Crosstown Shootout coverage. You've read today's Layup Line. And that, by default, means you're ready for the game.

If you have tickets, enjoy the atmosphere.

If you don't, add a few comments below. Although, admittedly, this isn't the type of game that lends itself to in-game internet comments. Pacing, jumping, yelling, and high-fiving are typically how I spend most Shootout nights.

Back when the Bearcats were battling the class of the Big East, the Shootout was just another game on the schedule. Now, with limited opportunities for respectable wins left on the schedule, this is a game the Bearcats almost have to have to boost their 2014-15 NCAA Tournament resume.

If there are three things I'm paying close attention to tonight, it's:

  • Turnovers - are the Bearcats protecting the ball and forcing Xavier to make mistakes?
  • 3-point shooting - can Farad Cobb knock down a few and force the Muskies to stretch their zone?
  • Ocatvius Ellis - Is the offense running through him and is he protecting the rim?

Let's go 'Cats. This one's huge...