By Ken Cross
Finally a rivalry, of sorts, that should have more fervor will be exacted next season when the Cincinnati Bearcats reopen Fifth-Third Arena with the Ohio State Buckeyes as their guests. Cincinnati will then travel to OSU in 2019.
It’s hard to call this a rivalry because only 10 meetings have taken place between the two as they last met in the NCAA Tournament in 2012 when Ohio State beat the Bearcats, 81-66. However, the two haven’t met in the regular season since 1921.
This should have been a home and home series over the years like Louisville and Kentucky, but the Buckeyes generally thought there was everything to lose and nothing to game by playing the Bearcats. Both coaches, Mick Cronin of Cincinnati and Ohio State first-year coach Chris Holtmann agree that this is good for basketball in the state of Ohio and for both universities.
“We are very excited about reopening our arena next season,” said Cronin, “Supporting this and agreeing to play Cincinnati in a home-and-home series is a first class move by Ohio State, Coach (Chris) Holtmann and the OSU administration.”
Although, they have only met ten times in history, the series has a history as the two met for the NCAA Championship in both 1961 and 1962 as the Bearcats took both wins and NCAA titles.