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“Anything we’re asked to do, we will comply with,” Cronin said. “Whatever they feel they need to do, we understand.”

The future of the annual rivalry game is in question. It’s developed a nasty edge, with a lot of buildup to the game in the media and the community. The raw moments from previous games get replayed and rehashed in the days leading up to the game.

On Sunday, Xavier athletics director Mike Bobinski said the series should continue, with the schools turning it into “a celebration of the Division I basketball that’s played in the city of Cincinnati and not the Hatfield and McCoy event that it’s turned into over the years.”

Cincinnati athletics director Whit Babcock said on Monday that he’s unsure whether there will be another game. He said the series should continue only if they can “change the culture of the game.”

Immediately after the game, Cronin said the officials shared some of the blame for declining to hand out technical fouls as the trash talking escalated during the game. Cronin said he urged the officials _ none of whom had worked a crosstown rivalry game _ to clamp down.

Officials Michael Roberts, Jeff Anderson and Tony Crisp called one technical foul, on Xavier coach Chris Mack for objecting to a goal-tending call.

Cronin said on Monday that the officials didn’t understand what they were getting into when they agreed to work the emotional game. He blamed the teams for what happened.

“If we’re not going to take the floor against each other in an appropriate manner, then there’s no point in taking the floor,” Cronin said. “It puts people in a bad situation, and I’m going to defend these three officials. They were put in a bad situation.”


Associated Press writer Dan Sewell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.