Last time Xavier started 10-0 or better was the 1996-97 season. Their coach? Skip Prosser.
Last time Wake Forest reached the Sweet 16 or further was the 2003-04 season. Their coach? Skip Prosser.
Prosser led both programs to sustained success in his time at each. Unfortunately, Prosser passed away at 56 in 2007.
Every year since 2009 (except 2014-15), Wake Forest and Xavier have scheduled a nonconference match-up in Prosser's honor, known as the Skip Prosser Classic.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Net (Check local listings)
Live Stream: WatchESPN (Where available)
Line: Xavier is favored by seven, per OddsShark.
Records ATS: Xavier is 8-3 against the spread while Wake Forest is 3-6.
Xavier currently leads the series 3-2. The Skip Prosser Classic stands at 2-2, with the home team winning each match-up thus far.
Three Things to Watch
1. Pursuit of perfection
Xavier is one of six undefeated teams remaining in college basketball.
A win over Wake Forest would add to their, already, school-record best start to a season. It would also give Xavier a perfect 12-0 record in the nonconference portion of their schedule.
The Musketeers, who are ranked #6 in the AP Poll, the highest in school history, cannot afford to think of any of that, though. They also can't afford to look past Wake Forest to their Big East opener where they will travel to Villanova to face the Wildcats.
It is vital that Xavier focuses on the task at hand.
2. Chris Mack
Without Skip Prosser, Chris Mack likely wouldn't be coaching the Musketeers right now.
Mack played for Pete Gillen at Xavier. After Gillen left for Providence, Skip Prosser took over, and Mack began to flourish as a player.
After Mack's playing career wrapped up, he coached high school basketball in the Cincinnati area for a couple years, before Prosser named him Xavier's Director of Basketball Operations in 1999.
Once Prosser left for Wake Forest in 2001, Mack went with him. Mack stayed with the Demon Deacons until heading back to Xavier with Sean Miller in 2004.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Below is what Mack had to say to the Cincinnati Enquirer about Prosser's lasting impact,
"Skip never got big-time," Mack said. "Although he became arguably one of the best coaches in the ACC, he never changed. He was as gracious to a restaurant server as he was to the president of Wake Forest every minute I was with him. That’s how I think about Skip."
3. Containing Devin Thomas
Xavier will get one of their biggest tests of the season in Wake Forest forward Devin Thomas.
Thomas, who stands at six-foot-nine, comes into the game averaging 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Xavier has been a great rebounding team this season, and has also been very good at defense in the post, but Thomas is unlike any player they have faced thus far. It is certainly a matchup to keep an eye on.