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2014-15 Schedule Analysis: Creighton Bluejays

Things will look remarkably different for the Jays this coming year on the court, and their conference schedule poses a mighty large threat.

Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

In their first year as a representative of the Big East Conference, the Creighton Bluejays suffered little to no growing pains. Although they came from the mid-major muscled Missouri Valley Conference, whose confines included the wicked Wichita State Shockers among many others, the boys from Omaha, Nebraska strutted their way to a 27-8 record, and a 14-4 posting in conference play. That record was good enough for second place in the regular season race, and runner up in the Big East Conference Tournament.

Needless to say, the second year may not be as inviting.

The Bluejays enter the 2014 season without 80 percent of their starting lineup a season ago. What's more is that the road they must travel to get back to the top of the Big East Conference -- and perhaps the NCAA Tournament -- is an unenviable one to say the least as we learned on Monday afternoon.

Here's the slate:

at Providence Friars Dec. 31, 2014 7:30 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at Georgetown Hoyas Jan. 3, 2015 4:30 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
vs. DePaul Blue Demons Jan. 7, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
vs. Seton Hall Pirates Jan. 10, 2015 2 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at Marquette Golden Eagles Jan. 14, 2015 9 p.m. ET CBS Sports Network
vs. Providence Friars Jan. 17, 2015 7:30 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at Butler Bulldogs Jan. 21, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at Villanova Wildcats Jan. 25, 2015 7 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
vs. St. John's Red Storm Jan. 28, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
vs. Georgetown Hoyas Jan. 31, 2015 TBA CBS Sports Network
at Xavier Musketeers Feb. 4, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at St. John's Red Storm Feb. 7, 2015 12 p.m. ET FSN
vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Feb. 14, 2015 1 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
vs. Butler Bulldogs Feb. 16, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at DePaul Blue Demons Feb. 24, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
at Seton Hall Pirates Feb. 28, 2015 4 p.m. ET CBS Sports Network
vs. Villanova Wildcats Mar. 3, 2015 9 p.m. ET FOX Sports 1
vs. Xavier Musketeers Mar. 7, 2015 2 p.m. ET FOX Sports 2

The Bluejays will not be getting any favors right from the get go, as they begin their second go-around in conference play with trips to Providence, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. where the Providence Friars and Georgetown Hoyas will be welcoming them back to the Mid-Atlantic. The headline matchup of the New Year's Eve Tip-Off Marathon represents a rematch of the 2014 Big East Championship Game, where Providence defeated Creighton in a heavyweight bout inside Madison Square Garden. The last time Creighton was at the Dunkin Donuts Center, things did not go so well as the Bluejays were on the receiving end of a beat down. The Hoyas look to be a lot better going into the 2014 campaign after an abysmal 2013, and are likely the most legitimate of threats to challenge Villanova for the regular season Big East title.

From there, a matchup against the intriguing Seton Hall Pirates is sandwiched between lowly DePaul and a Marquette team that will surely be in transition mode after the departure of Todd Mayo and Buzz Williams, and the arrival of Steve Wojciechowski. The Pirates boast a touted recruiting class, with the biggest prize of all being Brooklyn, New York native Isaiah Whitehead. Despite dropping the game, The Hall played Creighton very well last season in Omaha, losing by just one point, and are arguably much better than they were last season.

Following the second matchup against the Friars, so begins the toughest portion of the season by far. Creighton will partake in four road games in arguably four of the best and toughest places to play in the conference. It begins with a trek to Nap Town when the Bluejays pay Butler and Hinkle Fieldhouse a visit, and then head east to take on the Villanova Wildcats, the juggernaut of the conference at this moment. Then, the Jays will welcome St. John's and Georgetown to CenturyLink Center Omaha, before heading to the clamours Cintas Center in Cincinnati to meet the Xavier Musketeers. And finally, a trip to Madison Square Garden to take on the Johnnies on February 7.

The final three games of the conference slate pose a significant threat to Creighton as well, as they head to Newark to face Seton Hall, and then finish the season against Villanova and Xavier at home.

It goes without saying that games are not to be played on paper. But whatever the case, it's hard to look at this schedule for Creighton, and not be fearful for what's to come given the turnover that the roster will be going through. Then again, in this world of college basketball, stranger things have happened.