The Crosstown Classic is this weekend - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Is the Xavier, UC rivalry losing luster?

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The Crosstown Classic this weekend is the 81st meeting for the two schools.

Some say the rivalry between Xavier and the University of Cincinnati is losing its luster. However, some players and coaches say this isn't true.

Rivalries are what make sports great, and if anything, both schools are ready for a "classic" on Saturday night.

"We know how much it means throughout this whole city," says UC guard Sean Kilpatrick. "We know how much it means to our fans."

The campuses are only about three miles apart. However, come Saturday, they'll by 94 feet and two baskets.

"The fans want this game. The fans enjoy this game," says UC head coach Mick Cronin. "I'm just excited to be a part of it."

"I've gone to all the games before. I want to continue the streak," says Alex Reser, a UC student. "My friends got a ticket for me, so I'm going."

It's a rivalry that has its ups and downs. Back in 2011, the two teams ended up in an on-court brawl. Has the game lost its luster since then? The fans say no.

"If anything, it's gotten even bigger," says Kush Nayak, a student at Xavier. "Every year people get more excited to come. Everyone keeps calling me, 'hey, can you get me tickets?  Can you get me tickets?'"

"It'll be a really good game. It's physical, it's tough, it's the battle for Cincinnati," explains UC student Matt Osbourne. "There's nothing I'd rather do than see this game."

The rivalry is special for the coaches too. Both coaches are leading the squads at their Alma Maters.

"It's a special game," says Xavier head coach Chris Mack. "I can remember the games ever since I was 6-years-old, 7-years-old.  To be a part of it, it's a special thing."

UC won last year's game 60-45. There is no Crosstown Classic game yet on next year's schedule.  

Each school had about eight-thousand seats in their ticket allotment.

Xavier officials say they sold about 3,400 of those tickets.  UC says they're on the same pace as last year.

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