By Skip Coopersmith
July 19, 2023
CINCINNATI – Longtime local men’s basketball rivals meet for the first time since 2010 when Cincinnati and Dayton battle in the Hoops Classic presented by altafiber on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the newly renovated Heritage Bank Center. The matchup was announced Wednesday by veteran event promoter, bdG Sports.
Tip time and television information will be announced later.
The matchup between Cincinnati and Dayton is contracted as a one-year agreement with an option for a second year.
“It’s exciting to re-ignite this rivalry with two programs that have experienced a lot of success in college basketball,” said Brooks Downing, President & CEO of bdG Sports. “Both coaches deserve a big thank you for their willingness to start this series.”
“We’re happy to partner with bdG Sports, which will facilitate a community engagement aspect around a big-time college basketball game in our city,” UC head coach Wes Miller said.
UC added seven newcomers this season, including four high-impact transfers this spring as it competes in its first Big 12 season. The Bearcats saw a five-win improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 under Wes Miller, including its 40th 20-win season en route to the NIT Quarterfinals. UC’s 77.1 ppg were up 7.7 from the previous year and its most since 2001-02.
“We are excited about the opportunity to compete in the Hoops Classic,” Dayton head coach Anthony Grant said. “This game will be a showcase of two tradition-rich programs with very passionate fan bases. It certainly makes for a very attractive matchup in non-conference play.”
Dayton was 22-12 in 2022-23, with second-place finishes in the Atlantic 10 in both the regular season and post-season tournament. The Flyers return three starters, including junior forward DaRon Holmes II, a two-All-Atlantic 10 pick and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 A-10 tournament.
Cincinnati and Dayton have met 91 times prior with the Bearcats holding a 60-31 advantage. The rivalry is the third longest in program history for both schools. Cincinnati has played only Miami (Ohio) [149 games] and Louisville  more times while Dayton has faced only Xavier  and Miami (Ohio)  more often.
The Bearcats won the last meeting with Dayton, a 68-34 decision on Nov. 27, 2010 at the Queen City’s downtown arena. Dayton’s last victory over Cincinnati came the season prior, an 81-66 NIT quarterfinals result at Fifth Third Arena on March 22, 2010.
Tickets go on public sale starting Wednesday, July 26 at 10 a.m. ET at HeritageBankCenter.com, Ticketmaster.com or through the Ticketmaster app.
ABOUT HERITAGE BANK CENTER
Nestled on the banks of the Ohio River, the Heritage Bank Center is a multipurpose facility that hosts over 100 events annually. The historic venue has played a major role in the memories of Cincinnatians for over 40 years. Whether a first concert or sharing an event with family, friends, or a loved one, the premier entertainment venue on The Banks has provided the background for these cherished moments. This summer the facility will upgrade the seats in the lower bowl creating a more enjoyable experience when watching your favorite event.
ABOUT BDG SPORTS
bdG Sports is a leader in turn-key event management with a primary focus in basketball and professional golf. The firm boasts an event portfolio that has impacted multiple communities throughout North America and the Caribbean while featuring broadcasts to viewers across the globe.
In basketball, bdG is one of the industry leaders in games produced annually. From summer exhibition tours to multiple high-profile in-season tournaments – such as the Continental Tire Main Event at T-Mobile Arena, the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, and more than 20 teams participating in three Baha Mar Hoops events in Nassau — bdG will contract nearly 150 regular-season men’s and women’s Division I basketball games. bdG is proud to be the only third-party operator which manages a conference tournament, assisting The Big West Conference Tournament each March in Henderson, Nev. In professional basketball, bdG manages all the home games for the NBA G-League’s Ignite which also plays at that same venue.
In professional golf, bdG owns and operates two season-opening Korn Ferry Tour tournaments, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic and The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, both featuring $1 million purses. bdG also manages multiple pro-ams throughout the year at destination golf clubs such as Albany, Shadow Creek, Whistling Straights and Bandon Dunes.
COURTESY UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS