How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Gametime: 1pm CT
Location: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, OK
Watch: The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU
Stream: On WatchESPN where available
Listen: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 107.7FM the Franchise in Oklahoma City / 1430AM in Tulsa
Odds & Ends
Oklahoma is favored by 14 points over the Creighton Bluejays according to OddShark.
Moneyline: Oklahoma currently sits at -2000 while Creighton began the day at +1000.
Other Hot, Steamy, Words about Sports
Check out the Crimson & Cream Machine which I assume is a website about how peppermints are created and mass produced for you to enjoy during the winter.
Read the Omaha World~Herald if you want to see a crumbling media outlet beginning to wobble under the weight of this weird phenomena called 'the Internet.' Make sure to send tweets about your lovelife to the OWH's Creighton beat writer Steve Pivovar.
My Words about Creighton-Oklahoma
Last year, after all the turnover from the McBuckets era, the Bluejays hosted the Oklahoma Sooners at home. There's truly something special about the CenturyLink Center, because if there wasn't then Creighton would've lost this game by a million points because they were severely overmatched. Instead, Creighton installed a tremendous rally in front of their hometown fans and played a game for the ages. Down by 18 at one point, Creighton relied heavily on the three-point ball and slowly but surely made this a game in the second half. Highlights can be seen here:
That was against a then top-25 ranked Sooner hoop squad who ended up going to the Sweet Sixteen only to be outclassed by a Tom Izzo led Michigan State team. Oklahoma is a lot better this year, relying on the supreme talent of Buddy Hield. In a game just a few weeks ago, the Sooners took on Villanova and absolutely dominated the Wildcats. Shooting 53% from beyond the arc, the Sooners relied on heavy doses of Hield and senior guard Isaiah Cousins. The two of them combined for 37 points while the rest of the team picked up the pieces and scored just 41 points in their 78-55 win. They were much more physical than the Wildcats in every facet of the game, out-rebounding them by a pretty astonishing margin (41-33) while dishing out 18 assists to Villanova's 8. In fairness, this was the only full game I've seen Oklahoma play this season but I honestly believe it was the only one to fulfill a decent scouting report on the program. They play fast, they play physical and man Buddy Hield can beat you from pretty much anywhere.
Creighton has struggled against opponents that tend to play a little bit more physical than they're accustomed to. The Indiana game seems like an anomaly at this point, especially considering how impossibly well the Hoosiers shot the ball. Against Arizona State, a team in rebuild mode, the Bluejays built a lead and tried to protect it, leading to their demise. The loss to Loyola was a textbook example of a 'trap game' with the Bluejays looking quite sluggish on the court. If you consider all the injuries that the Bluejays have sustained over the previous 2 weeks (Groselle's ankle, Hegner's ankle, Huff's shoulder and Krampelj out for the year with a knee injury) I'd be hard pressed to give you an outlook that felt promising. The Bluejays are going to have an impossibly difficult opponent tonight.
If Creighton has a shot tonight, three things must happen: Isaiah Zierden needs to have a near-perfect night of shooting, Maurice Watson needs to take the game as it comes and not press and attempt to force the offense to work, and Khyri Thomas will need to lock down on Buddy Hield. If these things happen against any opponent, the outcome will be favorable to the Jays. If even one of these things slips and fails, especially the defense on Hield, the Sooners will run away with this game.
Just remember, every game starts 0-0. Anything can happen.
They said it:
With an offense like the one coming to Norman, Creighton can keep this game respectable through much of forty minutes. Yet, stopping the outside shooting of this Oklahoma team seems near impossible.
With the potential to grab the No. 1 ranking in the nation, Lon Kruger finally has a team that is driven by a killer instinct. They'll be out to prove to the country they're worthy of the top spot with a convincing win over a 7-3 program.
White & Blue Review on the matchup with Oklahoma:
The fact that OU’s students are already on winter break, and the general fanbase is still more concerned with football at this point in the year as the Sooners are in the CFB playoff, means at least the environment shouldn’t be as intimidating as it otherwise might be. The Jays have that going for them, but not much else. Not many folks outside of the program expect CU to win this game.
Steve 'Sleepy Eyes' Pivovar on basketball:
McDermott and his players are eager to gauge any improvement they might have made since getting hammered by the Hoosiers a month ago. Creighton fell behind the Hoosiers by 19 points in the first 20 minutes.
"Oklahoma has done a good job of getting off to good starts in virtually every game,’’ McDermott said. "We did not get off to a good start against Indiana. I’m hoping we can get to that 12-minute timeout (in the first half) feeling good about ourselves.
"We need to take the initial shock of being on the road and still be standing. That was not the case against Indiana. I’m hoping we can make that stride."