Five thoughts from No. 8 Xavier’s 76-53 win over crosstown rival Cincinnati:
1. The game didn’t end, literally. Nor have the repercussions.
An ugly brawl erupted with 9.4 seconds left in the game. Benches cleared, fists flew. Xavier’s senior All-America guard Tu Holloway readily admitted afterward that he was taunting Cincinnati players and coaches in front of Cincinnati’s bench, as the clock wound down. What ensued was a basketball brawl as ugly as any in memory. At one point, Xavier center Kenny Frease emerged from the pile on all fours, blood dripping from a gash below his left cheek, courtesy of a punch thrown by Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates.
The referees stopped the game at that point. There will be suspensions, though nothing had been announced as of 6 p.m. Saturday. Expect Holloway, Gates, Cincinnati center Cheikh Mbodj and possibly Xavier freshman forward Dez Wells to be suspended, possibly for multiple games.
Mbodj is seen in video stepping on Frease after he was down; Wells shoved a UC player early in the fight.
2. Holloway defended his actions, and those of his teammates, for their parts in the fight.
“This is my city,” Holloway explained. “I’m cut from a different cloth. None of them guys on their team is like me. We got disrespected. Maybe it looked bad to you (media), but this is what I’m used to. This is where I’m from. This wasn’t bad.”
“None of them guys on their team is like me. We got disrespected.”