Things got a little bit heated at the end of the 2017 edition of the Crosstown Shootout.
Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and Xavier senior J.P. Macura got into a verbal altercation in the handshake line that ended with Cronin having to be restrained from going after the player, with Cronin later accusing a Xavier player of telling him to “eff off three times.”
“You know who it was,” Cronin said, via Jeff Goodman of ESPN. “If he was playing for me, he wouldn’t play.”
Video of the incident was hard to come by, but a fan did capture Cronin having to be pulled away from the Xavier bench.
— mike (@IrishXMan) December 2, 2017
Xavier coach Chris Mack was having none of Cronin’s complaints.
“There’s two sides to the story,” Mack said when asked about the altercation. “There’s a reason their coach was issued a technical in the game.
“I’m not going to have the narrative be anything other than us playing better than Cincinnati and us beating Cincinnati today.”
Mack went on to defend Macura and blamed Cronin for needlessly losing his cool.
“J.P.’s my guy,” Mack said of Macura. “J.P. will fight for every inch on the basketball court. He’s a great kid. I’m not going to let anybody control the narrative on who they think J.P. Macura is.
“Lance Stephenson, right in front of me, called me the N-word three times and said F- you,” Mack added. “After the game, guess what I did? I shook his hands. I shook his hands. There is no narrative. There is no narrative. We won.”
It was six years ago now, but these two teams have fought in the past. It’s one of the country’s most heated rivalries, and it sounds like Cronin didn’t exactly do himself proud on Saturday.