Cincinnati Bearcats vs Xavier Musketeers: Xavier to Blame for Fight

Scott SewellCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2011

WASHINGTON - MARCH 19: Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats watches from the bench during their 69-58 loss to the Connecticut Huskies during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Verizon Center on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Stop me if you've seen this happen at a sporting event before.

Two players on opposing teams yell at each other in close proximity, one eventually bumps the other and then a teammate or referee jumps in, breaks it up and both teams go on playing the game.

We've all seen this play out hundreds if not thousands of times in professional and collegiate sports.

What caused this one to escalate whereas the others always fizzle?

Dezmine Wells of Xavier.

Tu Holloway of Xavier and Ge'Lawn Guyn of Cincinnati were embroiled in the classic, usually harmless on-court tussle when Wells came over and pushed Guyn to the floor. It happened near the UC bench, and naturally the entire bench cleared and punches were thrown.

Yancey Gates is going to receive a sizable suspension from the NCAA or UC and it will effectively end all postseason hope for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Their roster is too weak to survive a long stretch without Gates.

Gates certainly deserves the forthcoming suspension, but Cheikh Mbodj from UC deserves the harshest suspension of all. After Gates' punch sent Xavier's Kenny Frease to the ground, Mbodj stomped on Frease' face and caused the bloodied cut that you see on ESPN.  

Mbodj's actions were cowardly and inexcusable. He deserves to be suspended for the rest of the season.

Cincinnati was absolutely the more aggressive of the two teams during the fight, and that could perhaps be attributed to the proximity to the Bearcats bench. The entire Bearcats team was involved in the fight, whereas it took a few seconds for the Xavier players to get down to the end of the court.

However, it will be very unfortunate if someone like Dezmine Wells escapes this without a harsh penalty as well. After all, this could've ended without incident had he just controlled himself and not started the melee in the first place.


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