The end of the Crosstown Shootout quickly became more interesting and exciting than the game itself.
Here’s what happened: Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and Xavier guard J.P. Macura had some kind of dust-up in the handshake line after the game. It’s unclear what, exactly, happened — some have reported that Cronin refused to shake Macura’s hand, others are reporting that both Macura and Cronin had some unpleasant things to say to each other — but it does appear clear that Cronin went after Macura and had to be held back by members of his staff.
This came on the heels of an incident at the end of the first half, where Cronin was assessed a technical foul while Macura and Cincinnati’s Trevor Moore both received double-technicals.
That led to Cronin and Xavier head coach Chris Mack exchange verbal barbs in the postgame press conference. Cronin said that Macura told him to “f- off” three times and that Macura “would never play for me,” while Mack said that he didn’t want any “narrative other than being better than Cincinnati and and beating Cincinnati.” He also said Lance Stephenson called him the n- word three times and said “f- you”.
“J.P.’s my guy,” Mack said later 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.”
Good to have you back, Crosstown Shootout.