How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 1:00pm CT
Location: Cintas Center, Cinncinati, OH
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 700 AM & 500 AM in Indianapolis
Odds & Ends
Xavier opened at a 2.5 point favorite according to OddShark.
Over/Under set at 156.5
If you’ve filed for bankruptcy multiple times because of your gambling problem you should probably consult a financial adviser or run for president.
Xavier and Creighton have played 22 times with the Musketeers leading the series at 12-10.
The first meeting betwixt these institutions occurred on January 3rd, 1938 in Cincinnati where the Bluejays won 34-29. The two universities would play each other twice in the 40’s, three times in the 60’s, and only a couple times in the 80’s.
The two would skip all of the 90’s to protest the sudden decline in quality of American made motor vehicles and would pick the series back up in 2001, where they’d go on to play each other every year in the decade except 2003 and 2008. Four of the seven games played in this span of time were decided by 6 points or less, the remaining three decided less than fifteen points.
Other than the Bluejays’ beatdown in Omaha last season, all of the conference games have followed the same thread as the decade before, each affair containing highly entertaining elements and down-to-the-wire finishes.
Verba de Ludis
When the conference schedule emerged from the depths of BIG EAST headquarters, it wouldn’t have taken a whole lot of your imaginative powers to fantasize about the potential point guard match up between Edmond Sumner and Maurice Watson Jr. on a holiday marathon.
Yet a common theme for marquee point guard match ups so far this year has been pretty dismal as I witnessed the potential clash of Watson and Cartwright end early on as Cartwright exited with a knee injury.
If this is the same fate of Watson/Sumner, as Sumner battles a shoulder injury, then I’ll build a time machine and revert back to the 1700’s when both basketball and television didn’t exist. I wouldn’t be able to build the proper enthusiasm for much of anything after being so sorely disappointed yet again, thus the lack of central air or a governing body in place would be a blessing after such a let-down.
Xavier doesn’t do anything particularly well. Like Butler, they’re pretty solid all the way around, staying relatively mistake free while being pretty prolific on the offensive end. Rashid Gaston, Kaiser Gates, and Malcolm Bernard have filled the ‘big man down low’ role that was left over by the graduation of James Farr and Jalen Reynolds, but haven’t produced to pure satisfaction.
This will also be Myles Davis’s first home game back from his suspension. It’ll be interesting to see how the Musketeer fans greet his presence since his sentence was pretty sinister. Playing at Villanova and Butler he received a chorus of “boo’s” whenever his hands caressed the orange orb. Since he’s been back you can notice the lack of rhythm he plays with, once gliding around the floor like Coltrane on the sax, now aimlessly meandering the hardwood like a drunk pregnant woman at a Kid Rock concert. A lack of practice will get even the finest guards out of tune, and perhaps he’ll return to his original glory but he’s still pretty far away.
JP Macura entered the folklore of BIG EAST aficionados after removing his trousers at a bar near campus not long after the Musketeers were ousted from the big dance by those devils from Madison. He’s been a pretty good player so far this season for Xavier while continuing to piss off every fanbase in the conference for his maddening and unruly style of play.
Trevon Bluiett has been his same old exceptional self this season, yet the 6’6 junior forward hasn’t shot near as well this season as he had in season prior. Perhaps the rigors of playing in the BIG EAST will take its toll on even the finest of talents, but there are undeniable moments of pure basketball greatness that emanate from his lengthy 6’6 frame.
The greatest asset to Creighton’s offensive potency this year has been the play of Marcus Foster, yet the junior guard has had a bit of a shooting slump the past 4 games. In the bizarro affair against the Bulldogs of Truman State, it appeared as if Foster had broken free of his shooting woes and righted his ship, going 9-11 from the field while amassing 21 total points. Perhaps more of a blessing than anything else that could come agaist a far inferior opponent.
With the throes of flu season seemingly behind the Bluejays, it’s high time for Maurice Watson Jr., and his gang of wild stallions to break free of the proverbial stable and begin operating at a clip that somewhat resembles the opening sequence of this season. Perhaps fatigue has begun to take its toll, but the Jays are primed for a second wind, and with that comes phenomenal play against on the level teams. When Watson himself was able to will the Jays past the Musketeers last year in Omaha it wouldn’t surprise any if he was able to do the same at the Cintas.
More and more of the country has taken note of the talents of Justin Patton, which is depressing if you’d like to see him play a few more years in the white and blue, but his impact on this Bluejay squadron has added a great deal to their success. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares against a solid big man like Gaston yet he’s squared up against hoop stars of similar size when the Jays faced Buffalo and Akron and fared pretty well.
I imagine Khyri Thomas will likely get the assignment on Edmond Sumner considering his defensive prowess against players who utilize the dribble-drive, leaving Watson on the ‘2’ guard - JP Macura or Myles Davis - Foster on Bluiett, Huff/Hegner on Bernard, and Patton on Gaston.