How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 8:00pm CT
Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE
Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9FM the Keg in Omaha / 93.5 FM & 1070 AM in Indianapolis
Odds & Ends
Creighton is favored by 3 points according to Oddshark.
Over/Under is set at 153.
If you need help with your gambling addiction please contact your local loan shark or independent league baseball player to preemptively bust your knee caps with a Louisville Slugger so you know the full repercussions of illegal gambling.
Butler and Creighton have played a total of 13 times in their series history, including six times since both joined the BIG EAST, with the Bluejays leading 7-6 overall. This means that Butler has an opportunity to
in the series.
The first meeting between these two fine institutions came on a presumably snowy day on January 30th, 1933 in Omaha, Nebraska. This date is notable in many realms of history, with the bright side being that The Lone Ranger premiered on American radio while the extraordinarily dark side comes with some asshole being named Chancellor of Germany.
Way back in those days of yore Butler and Creighton were conference mates in the Missouri Valley Conference and the inaugural game between the two tilted in the Bluejays’ favor as they won 27-22. From then on they’d play three more times as conference buddies, all wins by the Bulldogs, before Butler bailed to enjoy the independent lifestyle.
The two would play three times in the mid-70’s to exchange disco records, each game won by Creighton, and that’d be the final time the two would meet until the New BIG EAST was formed.
Verba de Ludis
There are moments in life that you’ll never forget, like your first kiss or the first time you have to get your car out of impound.
For me, the moment so etched into my memory is of a bulldog waltzing around the floor-level confines of the CenturyLink Center. Slobber sloshing around carelessly, a general negative attitude permeating from its inbred face, an indifference to having any semblance of a center of gravity. It was gross and unappealing, but still a dog so it was still one of the most adorable creatures I’ve seen.
This bulldog was Butler Blue.
I was pretty excited to see this living mascot trot around the arena I’ve called home for so many years, yet it appeared to be in an awfully ornery mood. I didn’t dare touch it as its handler was very protective of this creature, so I watched admiringly from afar. Then I saw it vomit all over the floor and seem indifferent about the abstract mess it just created for the arena’s janitor. I felt worse for the janitor than I did for this Butler-clad attention whore, yet there was a part of me that empathized with the dog.
See, when you’re a dog you pretty much do all the stuff your owner wants you to do. When you have to represent a University as its mascot, that means going on buses and planes just so people can look at you and be amazed that a living thing travelled to visit them - a feat you can’t really accomplish with a Bevo or a Ralphie. I imagine there’s a bit of stress that this dog has to go through since it isn’t really designed to endure the travelling lifestyle, so when the thing vomits all over the floor you can’t help but shrug your shoulders.
I still feel for that poor janitor.
Butler Blue has been through some hard times recently, undergoing some sort of surgery that probably cost more than my rust bucket of an early 2000’s Chevy S-10. There are videos of him going through physical therapy, a twitter page devoted to him that contains just south of 20,000 followers, and a snapchat account where he can presumably send nude photos. I’m not saying I don’t like the idea of Butler Blue I just don’t like the reality of him.
Get well soon, Dog.
Butler is all-around fundamentally sound. The general hype around this team is that their non-conference slate, mixed with their win against Villanova, props them up as the toast of the BIG EAST. With Tyler Lewis finally coming of age, Andrew Chrabascz shooting the lights out and acting as a match-up nightmare, and a formidable opponent in the paint in Tyler Wideman, it’s no question how they’ve become so good.
They move the ball so efficiently with little to no room for error, milking the shot clock to set up a perfect shot, then breaking teams down on the defensive end while utilizing their phenomenal guards to break to the bucket to get points in transition, this team is no joke.
All the narratives at the beginning of the conference slate didn’t see Butler as an elite, but a solid top tier program. They don’t do anything too fancy, instead, they’re a great basketball team with arguably one of the best coaches in the nation. How Holtmann has managed to get Tyler Lewis to bear down and become the point guard everyone expected him to be is beyond me. That’s not taking a project and working him to his ceiling, that’s taking a top prospect and reminding him of his abilities, unleashing him at the most opportune time.
From what I’ve seen this season it’s the offense’s ability to keep possession and wear down a defense with a litany of late-in-the-clock pick and pops to keep their opposition on their heels. It’s like Holtmann has worked it out where his last second surefire playcall is deployed on nearly every possession, forcing teams to beg on Kelan Martin while leaving the opposite side of the court wide open for production.
This team is that steady diet of basketball goo that makes basketball purists salivate.
On the other side you’ve got the uber-efficient, ultra fast Creighton Bluejays. On an off night they can pour in 70+ with relative ease while consistently shooting 50%+ from the field. It can be anyone’s night - Maurice Watson Jr., can destroy teams off the dribble drive, Marcus Foster can create isolation situations that are unguardable, Khyri Thomas forces teams to respect his ability to get to the rack or set up for a corner three, Cole Huff is a rhythm shooter that can nickle and dime you from anywhere on the court, and the post presence of Justin Patton to tie the whole thing together.
With that, there’s a bit of questionable depth at point guard. Early in the year it looked as if Tyler Clement was going to be the de-facto backup, yet a glaring scouting technique the Arizona State Sun Devils deployed - sending multiple men at the ball and causing him to panic and turn it over - pushed him back into the depth chart.
In his place is 6’3 freshman point guard and inevitable wave of the future Davion Mintz, who received a bulk of minutes against St. John’s, where he seemed steady and solid, and was rewarded with some minutes against Providence. He’s quicker and more athletic than Clement, yet the teaching sessions Watson gives him at practice on a daily basis seem to be building him up to his full potential.
Past the point guard slot the Bluejays have a litany of weapons to choose from off their bench. Toby Hegner has been nails while filling in for Cole Huff, his footwork much improved from just a year ago, and his confidence in his role proving he’s a logistical nightmare. Isaiah Zierden and Martin Krampelj will also fill their roles as needed, with Zierden offering a veteran hand to guide the team when Foster needs a breather and Krampelj nabbing boards to save Patton’s legs.
With the amount of depth offered, the Jays can and will run. Butler hasn’t played a team with this much offensive prowess this year nor have they encountered a team that runs the floor like the Jays do. Though the Bulldogs are excellent in transition defense, they’ll need to get all their puppies in order to keep up with this blitzkrieg of an attack. If they can force the Jays to shoot south of 45% from the field, then the game is theirs. If not, it might be a long night to be cheering on the Butler Blues.