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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Despite one-year hiatus, Xavier-Dayton rivalry is likely to be revived

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Dayton and Xavier won't play next season for the first time in nearly 70 years (USATSI)

Even though Xavier released its schedule Tuesday without longtime rival Dayton on it for the first time in 68 years, it doesn't sound like the hiatus is likely to last too long.

Dayton coach Archie Miller said Wednesday he's optimistic the two schools will start a non-league series in the near future now that the Musketeers are moving to the new Big East and the Flyers are remaining for now in the Atlantic 10.

"Due to Xavier's league switch and non-conference scheduling conflicts, this upcoming season was impossible," Miller said via text message. "We hope there is a future and I think they are open to it as well. I obviously can't speak for Xavier though."

A Xavier spokesman didn't immediately return an email seeking comment, but Miller's comments are a positive sign this rivalry isn't likely to go the way of others killed off by conference realignment. Kansas will not schedule Missouri after the Tigers left for the SEC, Duke won't play Big Ten-bound Maryland after this season and Syracuse and Georgetown have yet to commit to a non-league series.

The series between Xavier and Dayton may not be quite as nationally relevant as those, but there's plenty of history between the two longtime foes. They've faced one-another at least once a year since the 1945-46 season, with the Musketeers winning 28 straight at home in the series but the Flyers boasting a 13-6 home record since the teams joined the Atlantic 10 in 1996.

It's understandable the two schools couldn't find a date that worked for the 2013-14 season since both already had scheduling commitments and the Big East's 18-game schedule reduced Xavier's number of non-league games by two. Nonetheless, hopefully Miller is right and the game becomes a staple of both schools' non-league schedules the way Xavier-Cincinnati is.

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