How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 8:00pm CT
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, NE
TV: BTN - BTN2Go
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 1400AM in Lincoln
Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Corn Nation - Nebraska
Tweeters: Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Jon Nyatawa / Fake Blue Crew / Michael McNeil
Odds & Ends
Creighton opens as a 5 point favorite over Nebraska.
Over/Under is listed at 146.5 according to OddShark
If you have a problem gambling on college sports perhaps you should slip a few hundred bucks under the dorm room door of a college athlete so they can eat real food and maybe buy themselves a nice pair of sunglasses.
Nebraska currently leads this 49-game rivalry series 25-24, which means this is a great opportunity for Creighton to
On March 3rd, 1923, the Creighton Hilltoppers played a rousing game of hoopball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the first time ever. In the final game of the season, the Hilltoppers blew out the Cornhuskers by 22 points en route to a 46-24 win, capping a stellar 12-5 season in head coach Arthur Schabinger’s first year at the helm.
Nebraska would go on to win the next three contests with each game being decided by five points or less. Schabinger, knowing that his seat was getting warmer with each loss to the boys in scarlet and cream, would beat Nebraska in the series’ fifth contest, putting the record at 3-2 NU. Apparently, both teams were content with this outcome, so they mutually agreed to not play one another for another 6 years.
Some say that Schabinger worked meticulously, night and day, preparing for that fateful rematch against the Cornhuskers. When the two teams met again on March 4th, 1932, Schabinger deployed his master scheme and decimated the Big Red 47-18 in front of a rowdy crowd in Omaha. Just three days later, in Lincoln, Schabinger managed to eek out a 28-26 win. The state of Nebraska remained blue, the series tilted in Creighton’s favor at 4-3, for 45 years.
The series would begin again in 1977, probably due to a hastily written contract penned on a bar napkin in the bathroom of a disco, and the people from Nebraska were blessed with the rekindling of this intrastate rivalry. From 1977-1998 the Cornhuskers dealt more L’s to the Bluejays than Bo Pelini had conference losses during his tenure at NU, an era of Creighton ineptitude that happened to coincide with Nebraska football’s glory years.
As all things eventually fade into distant memory, so to did the Bluejays’ inability to beat the Cornhuskers. Under the direction of Dana Altman and Greg McDermott the Jays won 14 of their last 18 meetings, including some monumental blowouts (2005 - 70-44, 2013 - 82-67, 2015 - 83-67).
Thus, the series stands with a one game Nebraska lead at 25-24. With a Bluejay win we’ll hit the reset button completely and head into next year with a slate virtually wiped clean.
Verba de Ludis
Nebraska comes into the contest 5-3 on the year with wins over Sacramento State (83-61), University of Mary (70-38), Louisiana Tech (65-54), Dayton (80-78), and South Dakota (73-61). Their three losses are to UCLA (82-71), Virginia Tech (66-53), and Clemson (60-58).
Tai Webster - 6’4, 195lbs - 16.9PPG, 3.75APG 49% FG
Glynn Watson Jr. - 6’, 174lbs - 13.8PPG, 2.3SPG, 47% FG
Ed Morrow Jr. - 6’7 234lbs - 11.1PPG, 7.5RPG, 57% FG
Let’s start this off by explaining what exactly Creighton is going to run into on the defensive side of the floor. Nebraska averages 18 seconds per offensive possession, shoots the ball at a 46% eFG rate, and turns the ball over quite often. They take their time setting up offensive sets, moving slowly enough with the ball in their hands that sometimes you forget you’re watching basketball and think you’re watching a bunch of guys stand around trying to figure out what to do next, except a small argument breaks out, then a compromise is reached, but more than half the time they completely screw that up, and then do it all over again about 15 seconds later.
There isn’t an ineptitude to this, it’s just the way they operate. It’s such a stark comparison to what goes on in Omaha. Night and day. Black and white. Creighton and Nebraska. It’s what this rivalry has brought in recent history, and naturally the Bluejays capitalize on this.
Tai Webster, the boy wonder from New Zealand, has finally come into his own. When he first showed up on campus there was an aura about him, a hype that Nebraska fans couldn’t really conceive of because he was one of the most highly touted prospects to land in Lincoln in some time. Also he was foreign and talks with a most excellent accent. His time in Lincoln seemed tumultuous, his scoring never really living up to expectations, his ball handling falling short of what was initially perceived. Now, Webster has emerged as the premier player on the Cornchucker’s hoop squad and he’s running the offense like a poorly oiled machine.
Glynn Watson Jr., was recruited by all sorts of schools, Creighton included, yet decided to go play under the tutelage of Tim Miles. He’s explosive, can be the go-to guy for this Nebraska offense, and can drop dimes into any spot on the court. It’s as if Miles is playing two point guards - one in Webster and the other in Watson. Numbers-wise, the two of them are nearly equal, but as far as gameplay, Watson has a quicker step and better instincts.
Ed Morrow Jr., will bang around in the post for the Cornchuckers, acting as their defacto big man. He’s got great footwork and will run the pick and roll with Watson and Webster, mainly from the top right side of the key. He’s awfully good as a sophomore, but what he has in size he loses a bit in speed. He also leads the team in turnovers and has a -18 AST/TO ratio going for him.
Jack McVeigh is a prototypical Dana Altman type of player. At 6’8 and 215lbs he’s more Jimmy Motz than Anthony Tolliver, setting up in the corner and waiting for a defensive breakdown so he can fire up threes and score from the perimeter. On the year he’s 16-of-47 from beyond the arc, good for 34%.
Finally, Michael Jacobsen rounds out the starting five for the Big Red, a 6’9, 239lb power forward who is still adjusting to the pace of college basketball. He shoots 41% from the field, doesn’t turn the ball over a lot (+1 in AST/TO ratio this season) and is just sort of there, floating around in the paint, waiting to grab the occasional offensive rebound.
I expect the offensive/defensive situation to look a bit like this:
Maurice Watson Jr. - Glynn Watson Jr.
Khyri Thomas - Tai Webster
Marcus Foster - Jack McVeigh
Cole Huff - Ed Morrow Jr.,
Justin Patton - Michael Jacobsen
I spoke with Corn Nation’s Patrick Gerhart about what I see in Creighton this season, so go check that out on my predictions for this game.