How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 12:00pm CT
Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE
TV: FS1 / FSGo
Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9 the Keg in Omaha / 610AM WTEL in Philly
Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / VU Hoops - Villanova
Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa / Bleeds Blue / Ryan Holmgren / Danny O’Byrne / Austin Gaule / Creighton Otter / Michael McNeil
Villanova - Ryan Saccoman / Tehr Umar / Eugene Rapay / VU Bench Mob / Terry Toohey / Marc Narducci / Brian Ewart / Mike Town / Chris Lane / Catherine Ryan / Brendan Reilly / VU Hoops / VU Hoops Live Tweets / The Villagnome
Odds & Ends
Villanova is favored by one lonely point coming into this game according to Oddshark.
Over/Under opened at 154 points.
If you have a problem gambling on sports feel free to reach out to that guy who makes your sandwiches at Subway. On the surface he may smell like vinegar and oil but deep down he was a philosophy major who can walk you through your implosive problems and give you terrible fixes to correct your ship.
Villanova leads the all-time series 7-2, with three of their wins coming before Creighton entered the BIG EAST conference, their two losses coming in Creighton’s first season in conference, and a resounding sweep since that 2013-2014 season.
Those two losses tend to stick in the minds of Villanova fans. Just mention the name ‘Ethan Wragge’ and they’re likely to shake their heads and crumble into the fetal position. It’s a perfectly natural response.
In Villanova’s visit to Omaha last year the Wildcats were able to shoot an insane 68% from the field (34-50) in a 14 point blowout win. Later on they’d gain a 31 point lead and destroy the Bluejays, except they only shot 48% so maybe not as defeating a game as the one earlier in the year.
Verba de Ludis
This is what dreams are made of.
Arguably the top two teams in the BIG EAST will square off for one last dance of 2016. Villanova had their one shining moment in March while Creighton boasts their best start in the modern basketball era.
A clash of titans, a titan who breeds an air of basketball pureness with their overly balanced attack, the other an offensive juggernaut that will run.
The tempestuous fate of this calendar year will end with a bang. Fraught with turmoil and unease, this year of two thousand and sixteen will meet a proverbial highpoint in this college basketball season anew.
On a national stage Villanova managed one of the greatest college basketball tournament runs in recent memory, laying wake to all who dare block its road to a national title, forcing the country to shine a light on this magnificent corner of the basketball world, grabbing the national media by its jugular and refusing to let go until the BIG EAST was not only seen, but felt.
Creighton cannonballed into this season with a frenetic pace, outclassing the class of the B1G and walloping opponents with their mind numbing ability to spread the floor and strike with relative ease. What ended as a whimper in the NIT of the season last, turned to a roster of fresh and uber talented faces of the season now, wilting opponents just a few moments into the second half of games. If you’ve seen this Bluejay basketball squad previous to this very moment you already know the immense speed and endurance this team can put forth. Run with them if you dare, but if your hands are firmly upon your knees, lungs aching for breath, and the second half is just beginning, you knew the outcome was grim before stepping on that hardwood.
What we’ll see is a match-up for the ages; a true to life coach’s duel between the pedigree and prestige that Jay Wright has built at the Palestra in Villanova and the legacy just beginning in front of 17,000+ hostile Omahans in Greg McDermott.
What exactly are we in for?
Folks around these parts of the internet and elsewhere in the medium have come to a conclusion that Josh Hart is deserving of every award one can throw at him. The 6’5 215lb guard is nearly unguardable, yet he’s yet to be countered by a stout and unforgiving master of the defensive end that will be Khyri Thomas. This match-up of defensive prowess against offensive genius will be one to focus your keen eye on.
Then, there’s the Jalen Brunson-Maurice Watson Jr., set-up that only the basketball Gods could’ve dreamed of. A scoring point with a deft handle against a pass-first point specialist that can score when his team needs it most. Though Brunson has the raw intangibles that would make any pro scout’s knees weak, Watson Jr. has the years of experience and a rolodex of top-tier point guards he’s had to face. To see these two in action, with their primes still eons away, will be a testament not only to the college sport but the game as a whole.
Kris Jenkins will meet his BIG EAST twin in Cole Huff, yet Jenkins has a much better defensive track record in comparison, while Huff boasts a high shooting motion to splash threes over his head. The two can go off in scoring spurts if defenses allow, yet may neutralize one another at the end of the day.
Without Omari Spellman, Darryl Reynolds has had to carry the Wildcats in the paint, yet his foe in Justin Patton will be a bizarre twist of fate as the freshman 7-footer will cause havoc with his speed and ability to make those around him a great deal better.
Then, there’s Mikal Bridges against the Bluejays’ top scorer and all around badass in Marcus Foster. Regardless of how you measure Foster’s performance while keyed in on Carrington and Rodriguez against Seton Hall, he’ll be a force on the defensive end and will accumulate a great deal of points in a very short amount of time.
It’ll be masterful. Brilliant. An amazing display of what the cream of the BIG EAST crop has to offer, right here in Omaha, on New Year’s Eve.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait for the ball to drop tomorrow at noon.
Have some coffee, be well, rage on in the evening, and we’ll see you on the other side.