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The Crosstown Shootout Will Be a Measuring Stick for the Rest of Cincinnati’s Season

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 26 Xavier at Cincinnati Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Your Cincinnati Bearcats face off with the Xavier Musketeers tonight in the 89th edition of the Crosstown Shootout. We’re heading into the belly of the beast at the Cintas Center. Cincinnati has dropped the last eight meetings in their building.

The 8:30 PM game will be broadcast on FS1 in case you don’t have tickets.

Cincinnati enters the contest with a 7-2 mark in their non-conference slate, which feels pretty good right now. Wes Miller is playing a deep bench and getting substantial contributions from a number of players. The Bearcats have had two games that didn’t feel particularly good—the one-bucket loss to Monmouth and the one-point win over Miami Ohio. Other than that, the Bearcats had looked solid in the fall semester of 2021. It would be nice if a team with this much size was more dominant on the boards, if this team shot better, and it would be great if we had more than two guys averaging more than 10 points per game.

Nevertheless, this evening will be great evidence for what kind of Cincinnati team we will see for the rest of the season.

Xavier sits at 8-1, just outside of both top 25 polls. This is a veteran team that returns more than 80 percent of its offense from last season. They are getting significant offensive contributions from Nate Johnson, Colby Jones, Paul Scruggs, and Jack Nunge, all averaging in double figures. This team can rebound too. Xavier is about as complete a team as the Bearcats will face in the regular season and offers an excellent measuring stick for the Bearcats.

Looking forward to seeing how well Wes Miller has this team prepared for the game. He’s been saying all the right things about the rivalry. Let’s see how it all checks out tonight.