How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Game Time: 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
Stream: FoxSportsGo (where available)
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / ESPN 540AM in Milwaukee
Odds & Ends
Creighton is favored by one point according to OddsShark.
ATS: Creighton is at 15-9 while Marquette is at 10-14.
Verba de Ludis
I recall walking into work yesterday and passing a car in the parking lot that had a license plate frame that said, "Hold Back No Punches." On the surface, this seems like a somewhat inspirational thing - to live life without holding anything back. I thought about it some more, thinking that perhaps the owner of this vehicle was actually some violent maniac that, whenever confronted with even the smallest nuisance, they'd start getting real punchy real quick. I imagined this person standing in line at a movie theater, waiting to see a grand piece of cinema, when the person standing in front of them starts spoiling the entire plot, to which our antagonist gets upset and donkey punches the guy in the back of the head. I thought about this person getting their oil changed and as the mechanic begins their up-sell pitch our punchy anti-hero just clocks the mechanic in the face. Perhaps our punchy person realizes that they forgot to do their taxes on April 19th, then begins punching their reflection in the mirror.
I tooled around with this thought for quite some time, picturing this loose cannon going about life in and out of prison for assaulting people over the pettiest of circumstances. I expect that this is how professional boxers are born, punching themselves out of the womb, punching the midwife, punching mashed peas, punching books, punching desks, punching everything until they became welterweight champion of the world.
I then thought about the movie Rocky, which you've probably seen. It's about an impoverished amateur boxer punching his way through the lower ranks of Philadelphia's most mediocre, only to end up facing the world champion Apollo Creed. The unexpected schlub from Philly goes the distance against Creed, and though he lost, he lost standing on his own two feet. Rocky didn't hold any punches back, and his cries out to Adrian at the end of the fight is a haunting reminder that, no matter how many punches you throw or are bombarded with, love wins out at the end.
Creighton came out punching in their monumental upset win at Xavier on Tuesday. They were able to utilize a swarming defense to keep Xavier's lengthy guards and forwards from creating too much momentum. Their ability to rebound was turning a corner, their offense finally getting back into gear, and the ability to win close games against big opponents has come to fruition. Standing at 7-5 in the standings, the Bluejays have another opportunity to move up the ladder in the BIG EAST standings, yet they have to get through one man to do that.
That man's name is Henry Ellenson.
When I was met with the thought of, "Oh my, who, on the Bluejays, can guard the magnificent freshman?" I toyed around with the idea that senior center Geoffrey Groselle could take on the big forward from Rice Lake, but I decided that Ellenson's explosiveness to the basket would leave Groselle in the dust. The fates of Groselle would be replicated for Zach Hanson as well, for he is not quick enough to corral the big man. Cole Huff still seems a few steps behind health-wise, and guarding the 245lb freshman would be a bit too much to handle. It'd be foolish to stick a guard on Ellenson, for his 6'11 stature would allow for some easy jump shots. What's left?
Hegner, the 6'10 sophomore bomber from Berlin, WI, appears to be the perfect defensive matchup to Ellenson, and though he doesn't have the width or mass that Ellenson carries, he does have similar height and heritage. Both of these players are products of the Wisconsin Basketball DNA Act of 1991, where governor Tommy Thompson dumped a bunch of basketball-enhancing molecules into the drinking water of every Wisconsinite. With the aid of an anchor in the middle, the Jays would be able to double team Ellenson if he ever gets into the paint, sacrificing defensive coverage for stopping a superior player.
The Golden Eagles are at 5-7 in conference right now but are coming off a huge double overtime win against Providence that saw a lackadaisical approach to guard Ben Bentil, who scorched the Eagles for 42 points. Haanif Cheatham and Henry Ellenson punched their way through the vaunted Providence D and combined to score 47 points. Cheatham, only a freshman and in tandem with Traci Carter, have been uplifting offensively for the Golden Eagle backcourt, while the Ellenson bros bang around down low.
This game is going to be real punchy, so get your pay-per-view ready for nothing 'cause this game is on Fox Sports Network, which presumably comes with your cable package. If not, call your mom and get her login info to sign into FoxSportsGo so you can avoid doing important things tonight. Gather with some friends, root on some hoops, and enjoy this fight between two middle-of-the-pack BIG EAST teams. Hold back no punches.