How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 7:00pm CT
Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE
TV: FS2 / FSGo
Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9 the Keg in Omaha / 89.5FM WSOU in South Orange
Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / NJ Hoops Haven / SHU Hoops - Seton Hall
Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa / Nick Bahe
Seton Hall - Sean Saint Jacques / John Fanta / Patrick Tonero / Jerry Carino / Chris McManus / Jeremy Schneider
Odds & Ends
Creighton opened as a 9 point favorite but the line has bounced around and, at this time, has settled at 7.5 according to OddShark.
Over/Under set at 158.
If you have a problem gambling on college sports you should probably call 1-888-BETS-OFF or pick up a different hobby like smoking cigarettes or walking around your neighborhood with an assault rifle.
Seton Hall holds a 10-4 series lead over Creighton, winning four of seven match-ups since Creighton joined the BIG EAST. In their last affair, Seton Hall dismantled the Jays in the Garden, despite Cole Huff’s 35 point affair, en route to their BIG EAST Championship Sponsored by Jeep.
There have been some instant classics between these two Universities since the Jays arrived to the conference, including three consecutive one-point games (72-71 Jays 2/23/14 ~ 68-67 SHU 1/10/15 ~ 67-66 SHU 2/28/15).
Seton Hall won the last affair in the aforementioned quarterfinals of last year’s BIG EAST Tournament Sponsored by Jeep by a score of 81-73, yet the teams split the regular season match-ups by winning in one another’s home arenas. I don’t want to say that this is blossoming into a rivalry because I don’t have the authority to do so, but a great deal of the games have been close... too close.
The first ever game betwixt these two institutions occurred on March 3rd, 1949 with the Pirates winning 62-47 in South Orange. Previous to Creighton entering the conference the last time the two played was in the NCAA Tournament in 1991 with the Hall upending the Jays in Salt Lake City by a score of 81-69.
Verba de Ludis
Laying in a Mexican prairie was the embodiment of the Creighton men’s basketball team. They were hot, hot as a Central American wasteland - like a rattlesnake emerging from its burrow to welcome the midday July sun - but rumbling towards it was a thundering herd of wild beasts. As the herd approached it became clear that this was no ordinary pack of beasts, no, it was the animal embodiment of Seton Hall’s free throw/field goal/three point shooting percentage.
It was a bunch of donkeys that just ate a bunch of fermented berries.
It was drunk.
It was a mess.
A rambling, bumbling, swearing cacophony of disappointment soon stumbled and mumbled to the burrow of the stoic and unwavering Bluejay representative. Noting that their free throw shooting percentages were close in proximity, both entities shared a collective wail and rattle before the pit viper lurched forth in an attempt to kill a member of the intoxicated squad of burros.
One offense so potent, so devastating, so quick in its intent to kill and destroy, the other a bumbling mess of poor coordination, worse decisions, and reliance on pure luck. A vicious reminder that the pure polarity of college basketball is alive and present.
It’ll all be on display on this eve, this Wednesday night, between the Seton Hall Pirates and Creighton Bluejays.
When we last visited these two battle on the hardwood we witnessed a relative indifference to the phenomenon known as Cole Neutral from the Pirates, and the obliteration of a bruised and beaten Bluejay squad by the S-H-U Buzzsaw Pt 1 of 3.
Oh how time changes everything.
Seton Hall famously plays the game with an uber-aggressive defense, a stifling and suffocating blitz that’s as dizzying as it is effective. From Angel Delgado anchoring down low, playing a no bullshit post defense, to Desi Rodriguez’s ability to pick pockets and shut down any opposing guard, this team is a tough wall to climb over.
Their offense is predicated on hard nosed dives to the basket, a tinge of hero ball taking over their offense as they’ve only offered 11 assists per game so far this season, while relying on Myles Powell and Khadeen Carrington to shoot all of their threes (heh, not all but of the 64 Seton Hall has made this season only 10 have come from outside of the tandem).
Hot damn, though, that defense is stout, only allowing 31% shooting from beyond the arc and 40% overall from inside of it. As I said before, it’s unwavering and absolutely brutal to face.
Mention the fact that they grab boards better than most teams in the BIG EAST throughout the non-conference slate is easy to counter with their abhorrent field goal percentage. Grab all the boards you want but if you can’t score on the returning possession you’re going to keep yourself in close games - especially if your opponent can shoot 50%+ or better from the field.
Creighton’s primary holes are glaring in the face of Seton Hall’s offensive prowess. The interior defense is fundamentally weak at times, with each of Creighton’s opponents exploiting this weakness. Keep going down low and you’re going to put Justin Patton on the bench as he accrues fouls, forcing the Bluejays’ hand at putting in a smaller Martin Krampelj or Toby Hegner down low.
Here’s the rub: Creighton’s guard play and inventive, creative, and uber-powerful offense will drown you eventually. Kevin Willard’s teams are athletic and all-consuming at times, but to run up and down the court when the Jays are shooting at a 50% clip will be demoralizing. I know it. You know it. Everyone that’s watched this machine of an offense rip and run knows it.
With the intelligence of Maurice Watson Jr and the Swiss Army Knife that is Marcus Foster, it’ll be interesting to see how this Pirate defense manages to bottle them up. There’s no question that Patton will be neutralized by Delgado, so call that a wash. Khyri Thomas will be busy keeping Carrington at ground level, yet will manage to leak through the defense and pop threes from the corner.
Oh, and Cole Huff.
Ish Sanogo tried his damndest to cover Huff at MSG. Instead, Huff went off for 35 points on 11-16 shooting, including 7-11 from three. Though he’s been hampered by lingering injuries at times this year, he’s due for a monumental game. When he’s unable to get hot, you get the hustle catalyst in Toby Hegner.
Creighton has far too many weapons and shoots way too well to falter in this affair. Seton Hall will certainly keep pace for a while, perhaps they’ll never tire and offer the Jays an opponent that can run with them for the full 40, but ultimately they’ll need a miracle offensive performance by either Myles Powell or Khadeen Carrington to get them over the hump - post play by Delgado can only inflict so much damage.
It’s going to be a fun one, sure, but I think the rattlesnake fends off the drunken barrage of donkeys in this affair.