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Allstate Sugar Bowl to Sponsor Crosstown Basketball Classic

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Allstate Sugar Bowl will sponsor the 2009 Crosstown Classic, a collegiate basketball doubleheader slated for Saturday, Jan. 24 at the New Orleans Arena. The Classic features longtime New Orleans, HBCU and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference rivals Xavier University of Louisiana and Dillard University. The event tips off with the women's teams playing at 5 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available through Ticket Master (504-522-5555 or at $12 for general admission seats or $20 for special courtside seats. General admission tickets will also be on sale for $12 at both university campuses. A portion of ticket revenue will fund a general scholarship at each university.

This will be the sixth Xavier-Dillard doubleheader in the New Orleans Arena, and the first sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The schools met there in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. The doubleheader attracted a record 7,189 fans on February 1, 2003.

The historic rivalry between the two schools began on Jan. 17, 1948 when the men's basketball teams clashed on the hardwood. This year's meeting with be the 116th in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils. Xavier and Dillard first met in women's basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have played 67 times.

Three players in the XU-DU men's series reached the NBA. Xavier's Donald "Slick" Watts played six seasons with three NBA teams from 1973-79. Watts was the first to lead the NBA in assists and steals in the same season (1975-76). Gold Rush teammate Bruce Seals played three NBA seasons (1975-78) after two seasons in the ABA. And Dillard's George Johnson played 13 seasons with six NBA teams from 1972-86 and ranks 13th in the NBA with 2,082 career blocked shots. Johnson was a member of the Golden State Warriors' 1975 NBA championship team, and Seals played in the NBA Finals in 1978 with the Seattle SuperSonics.