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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Report: Cincy-Xavier to neutral site

By Eamonn Brennan
ESPN.com

The rivalry between Cincinnati and Xavier will take on a new look in 2012-13, when it will be played on a neutral court for the first time in 25 years, according to a report in The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The reported relocation to U.S. Bank Arena is a direct result of the highly publicized Dec. 10 brawl between the two schools, which led to a wave of player suspensions and discussion of an end to the series.

Instead, officials from the two schools have decided to move the game away from its alternating home-and-home fixtures for the next two seasons in an "attempt to improve the climate surrounding the game," according to the report.

After a two-season "trial period," the schools will evaluate the behavior of players and fans before renewing the series or scheduling venues, the newspaper reported.

The rivalry has alternated between Cincinnati's and Xavier's home courts since 1989, but was played at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati from 1976 to 1983, when it was known as Riverfront Coliseum.

Financial details have not been finalized, though this season's game likely will be played on Dec. 18, 19 or 20. An official announcement is expected in June, according to the Enquirer.