On Thursday afternoon, the Creighton Bluejays revealed their full nonconference schedule for the upcoming 2016-17 season. The reveal, occurring on their program’s Twitter account, took up a big chunk of the late morning and early afternoon hours and by its conclusion, it’s easy to suggest that Greg McDermott & Co. have a pretty tough road lying ahead of them.
The headline matchup in this slate will no doubt be their Gavitt Games matchup against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers are returning a great deal of talent from a team that went to the Sweet 16 last season and was as good as anyone in the Big Ten down the stretch. Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, two players who were on the Final Four clubs in 2014 and 2015, are back once again alongside youngsters Vitto Brown, Khalil Iverson and Ethan Happ. The Badgers could potentially be a Top 15 team at the time of this matchup in November, so expect CenturyLink Center Omaha to be a raucous environment when these two teams meet on the court.
Additionally, a rematch with the Arizona State Sun Devils could wet the appetite. The Bluejays fell to the Sun Devils last year in a rare home loss and now will look to extract some revenge in Tempe. This matchup, set to take place on December 20, will mark the first time that the Bluejays travel to ASU since January 19, 1974. Creighton will look to even the all-time series at five wins apiece when they take the floor as they currently check in at 4-5 lifetime against ASU.
Creighton will also be hosting the Akron Zips to start their month of December. The Zips are the reigning and defending champs of the MAC and will return a good chunk of their roster from last year including the likes of Antino Jackson, Isaiah Johnson, Kwan Cheatham and Noah Robotham among others. Expect this to be a pretty solid matchup when these teams tip off on December 3 if both teams play up to par.
Other notables include the in-state rivalry game vs. Nebraska which is set to go down on December 7 in Lincoln, a stint in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the opener which will take place against UMKC.