The Creighton schedule is up there with some of the more challenging ones in the conference, especially when you factor in their rough conference slate. While there isn't a Kansas or Duke on the schedule, the likes of Oklahoma, Indiana, Villanova, Georgetown and others will make things difficult. Let's take a look at the five biggest game for Greg McDermott's team this upcoming season:
5) Creighton at Indiana
Part of the Gavitt Tip-Off Games, this game will be Creighton's first road game of the season and it comes very early on November 19. It will provide a great opportunity for McDermott's men to earn a resume building victory with little to lose. A win at Assembly Hall for Creighton could catapult them much like the Oklahoma win did for them last season before faltering.
The point guard matchup in this one will be one to watch when Yogi Ferrell faces off against Bluejay newcomer Maurice Watson, Jr. Both are small in stature but make up for it with their grit and style. While most collegiate athletic fans will be paying attention to football still, these two basketball-first schools will square off in a tussle in Bloomington.
4) Nebraska vs. Creighton
Depending on who you ask from both Creighton and Nebraska fan bases, this game ranks anywhere from 19th most important (behind all conference games) to most important. The two rivals will see one another in an unusual Wednesday night game at the CenturyLink Center, a place that will be juiced with 17,000+ fans ready to see the marquee intrastate matchup.
It's an interesting rivalry. The private school against the state school.
Urban against rural.
The kind of game where if your team loses you dread going into the office the next morning.
Lately though, those losers have been Husker fans. UNL hasn't beaten the smaller, private school since Doug McDermott's freshman season.
3) Creighton at Oklahoma
It's yet another nonconference game that garners attention from the neutral perspective. The Jays beat the ranked Sooners last season, a game that was probably the highlight of Creighton's home schedule in what was a tough year. This season will be even better with the Sooners returning many of their stars and Creighton most likely being better than they were a season ago. Norman, Oklahoma, may not be known for an electric basketball atmosphere, however. So if you tune into this one, it might not warrant a top game for Creighton this season. Don't let that fool you though. A win here would do wonders for a Creighton team that needs impressive wins on their resume.
2) Providence at Creighton
You're probably wondering why I've ranked this game second. Well, if you're a Bluejay fan you probably have gotten a little tired of the Friars beating Creighton. The Jays are 1-4 against them since joining the conference. The only Bluejay win came in Doug McDermott's out of this world performance to push him over 3,000 points for his career on senior night. Both teams will be pretty equal this season and probably on the fringes of the NCAA Tournament. A midseason battle here could be crucial for both programs. Kris Dunn will bring his usual show and the Bluejay fans will be looking for an important victory.
1) Villanova at Creighton
It's a Saturday night at 9 p.m. local time and it is part of the conference's New Year's marathon. You know the crowd will be well lubricated for this one. Creighton has a little history with the Wildcats already. The Bluejays shelled Villanova both times they faced each other in Creighton's first season in the Big East and a third win out of four escaped Creighton last year at the very end, leaving Bluejay fans gutted for what seemed like the millionth time last season. Creighton will want this one and the atmosphere inside the CenturyLink Center is likely to show it.