Typically, college sports rivalries are formed when two schools within close proximity of each other compete on an annual basis.
Currently, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats have long-standing athletic traditions with two major rivals: the Xavier University Musketeers in men’s basketball, and the Miami University Red Hawks in football.
Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout
The Bearcats and Musketeers first met up on the hardwood in the 1927-28 season. Xavier won the matchup, scoring 29-25.
The two campuses are separated by just 3 miles, and many of the athletes grew up playing against each other in youth, American Athletic Union (AAU) events or high school basketball.
Over the decades, there have been many notable events that have defined the rivalry. The game was moved to U.S. Bank Arena in 2012-13 and 2013-14 after a bench-clearing brawl in the final seconds of the 2011 meeting left players bloodied on both sides.
The most recent UC victory over Xavier transpired on Jan. 26, 2017. The #19 Bearcats overcame an 8-point halftime deficit to defeat the #24 Musketeers 86–78 in front of a crowd of 13,477 at Fifth Third Arena.
The entire city of Cincinnati takes this game personally, as the winning university obtains bragging rights for the entire year leading up to the next face-off.
To put into perspective how seriously people take this game, a Cincinnati-area television station refused to interrupt their coverage of the Cincinnati–Xavier basketball game for the 1990 State of the Union address, which began airing in the middle of the game.
The game is widely regarded as one of the hottest tickets in Cincinnati every year, and is regularly attended by NBA legend and former Bearcat Oscar Robertson.
For the 2018-19 season, the Crosstown Shootout will be held at the newly-renovated Fifth Third Arena. The game is scheduled for Dec. 8 and marks the 86th edition of the series.
The Victory Bell
Every year, Bearcats football meets up with the RedHawks to battle for the Victory Bell. It is currently the oldest non-conference college football rivalry in the United States, as the first meeting commenced in 1888.
As of late, this matchup has been less-than-competitive. UC has walked away victorious each of the past 12 years.
Last year, the RedHawks held a 17-6 lead with three minutes remaining before UC quarterback Hayden Moore found Kahlil Lewis in the back of the end-zone, making it a 17-14 game. On the ensuing possession, Miami opted to throw the ball on their own eight-yard line instead of running down the clock. UC safety Malik Clements picked off Miami quarterback Gus Ragland’s pass, returning it 14 yards for a touchdown with 1:07 left. After Josh Pasley’s extra point kick, the Bearcats went on to win by a final score of 21-17.
For the 2018 season, Miami will make the 40-mile journey to the Queen City The two schools will meet in downtown Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8 for the 123rd edition of the Victory Bell game.