WATCH: Cincinnati coach John Brannen reveals Crosstown Shootout vs. Xavier set for 2020-21 season


Cincinnati coach John Brannen spilled the tea over backdoor negotiations for the Crosstown Shootout with rival Xavier, revealing Wednesday in a two-minute video posted to Twitter that numerous offers he made to schedule one of college basketball’s best rivalries were rebuffed because Xavier didn’t feel the offers were “equitable.”

In his video, Brannen riffed on rivalry games of the past and about how many legendary moments have spawned from the Crosstown Shootout before going in-depth about recently-stalled talks, revealing four specific offers he claims he made to Xavier. He then unveiled at the end of the video that the two teams will indeed meet this season at Fifth Third Arena.

“2020, pandemic, I’ve got kids at school telling my daughters, ‘What’s going on with the Crosstown Shootout?'” Brannen said. “My wife says it’s all over Twitter. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but Xavier called, they said they understood it wasn’t equitable — that was the term they used. So I felt like we could work something out. So we first offered neutral, then come to our place in 2021. Think they had a lot of games scheduled in 2021, so they couldn’t do it.

“So then we came back with we’ll go to your place this year — that’s two straight years at the Cintas Center,” he continued. “Thought maybe that would maybe break up the schedule in 2021. Didn’t work. So then I thought for sure, we’ll go neutral this year, then we’ll go two straight Crosstown Shootouts in the same year. That’s a lot of cheese coneys! They didn’t go for that one either. 

“Then the last one … the last one I thought was really good for them. Neutral, at Cintas, two years Fifth Third Arena. They didn’t go for that one either. They must have football now, because they schedule way way years ahead. Just doesn’t seem like it’s been very equitable.”

Talk about shade! That’s laying all your cards on the table, and eerily reminiscent of another rivalry feud that just took place between Louisville’s Chris Mack — the former Xavier coach — and Kentucky’s John Calipari. The feud started publicly when Mack ranted against UK and Calipari for being difficult to work with in negotiating terms for a rivalry game meeting in 2020, and culminated with a Calipari response in which he appears to call Mack “nuts” and “out of his mind.

Shade aside, though — and who doesn’t love the petty wars? — the deals are done. That’s ultimately a good thing for the sport. Kentucky and Louisville are set to meet Dec. 26, and Xavier-Cincinnati is on for Dec. 6.





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