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Hall of Fame Classic: Creighton v #22 Baylor - Preview

I’ve actively tried to forget what happened last time this matchup happened but it hits me like a PTSD freight train. Only Khyri Thomas can save us now.

National Collegiate Basketball Hall Of Fame Classic Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow

Game Time: 9:00pm CT

Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

TV: ESPN2

Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 1330AM in Central Texas

Other Blogs:

White & Blue Review / Bluejay Banter - Creighton

Our Daily Bears - Baylor

Tweeters:

Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa / Fake Blue Crew / Bluejay Banter

Baylor - Our Daily Bears,


Odds & Ends

Baylor is a 1.5 point favorite over Creighton according to Odds Shark. The over/under is set at 154.

If you’re thinking about betting on this game may I remind you that gambling away all your delicious dollars is a sin and you should instead play the world’s biggest gamble by giving your money to a religious affiliate since it plays directly into your afterlife.


Series History

Creighton and Baylor have played four times in their histories, with the Jays holding the series lead at 3-1.

The first time the two faced off was on December 28th, 1962, where Creighton won by a very nice score of 90-69 in Oklahoma City. Like the game against UCLA back in the early 60’s, Creighton’s roster featured the now enshrined Paul Silas, Chuck Officer, James Bakos, and Pete McManamon.

The second and third match-ups occurred during a home-and-home series when Dana Altman was pacing in front of the bench. Notching two wins in early December of 1998 and 1999, the Jays came off with a 73-59 win at home and a 77-76 overtime win at Baylor. The 1998 affair featured Rodney Buford, Doug Swenson, Ben Walker and Ryan Sears. The 1999 affair added a baby faced Kyle Korver to its ranks.


Verba de Ludis

Well, here it is.

Here’s this great opportunity for revenge.

If Greg McDermott has a white whale, Baylor is it.

At the most recent BIG EAST Tournament presented by Jeep, a reporter shouted a question at Greg McDermott during the post game presser after the Jays moved on to the finals after sinking Xavier on Marcus Foster’s last shot. Undoubtedly a New York Post scribe, the reporter shouted, “Are you superstitious about tomorrow?”

The room fell silent momentarily as McDermott was whisked away, then the BIG EAST communications director scolded the reporter for asking such a ridiculous question.

I think about this moment a lot. I don’t know why. It stands out, because the look of discomfort splashed acrossed McDermott’s face, twisting into a knot, showing that his stomach had dropped. Perhaps it was a projection of my own volition, but I’d never witnessed an end of presser like that.

Coming off a high like that, similar to what happened last night, is a magnificent feeling. The next night was a measure in futility compared to the poise the Jays had the night before. The high. The hype. A championship. Then, the fizzle. The pop. The letdown.

The only two players who were part of the first McDermott-era Baylor experience that are still on the team are Tyler Clement and TOBY! Hegner. Both players won’t play in this one, unless the scales are tipped heavily in either direction, then you might see Clement.

Last night, as things were wrapping up, Matt DeMarinis from White and Blue Review asked me if I remembered where I was the last time these two teams met. I did. We swapped stories. Matt gave me his play by play, his thought process through the grueling 40 minute slaughter, sitting in San Antonio watching it live. I was in Portland, drinking a beer in a bar, and watching it alone. I was the lucky one in this scenario.

That’s what it’s like. That’s how Bluejay fans and those associated with Creighton talk about that game. Even in its harrowing end, it’s an experience that can bring Bluejay fans together in a bizarre way.

I imagine it’s how Alabama fans felt after the kick six in the Iron Bowl, except they’ve got championships to comfort them. Or like how Indians fans felt after losing to the Cubs in the World Series, except they’ve got the Cavaliers to comfort them.

It’s unique for Creighton fans because there hasn’t been any glory since. That was supposed to be the glory year. The closest the Jays have come since then was through 19 games last season, and look how that turned out. There’s no comforting moment, no redemption.

Tonight, the Jays have that opportunity.

Fans are ignited, quickly, over rising stars. It explains the obsession over Mitch Ballock and Tyshon Alexander - two freshmen that are contributing at an impressive clip, both performing in completely unexpected ways, giving this fanbase a little bit of hope.

Yet, the general consensus among fans, including myself, is that the win last night was necessary because Baylor is an impossible win. Had it been any other team out of the 350 Creighton could’ve played, there would be optimism beaming from the collective fanbases faces.

But, because it’s Baylor, the reality is a depressing shrug and shuffle. A depressing sigh followed by, “oh well.”

Baylor is longer than they were the last time. They’re a bit more poised. They have similar athleticism. They beat Wisconsin handily, from tip to finish, with only a small spattering of fans against a homecourt environment against the Badgers. They’re 4-0, play 8-deep, and have a healthy rotation of 4 players who are over 6’8.

Their 7’ senior center rebounds like Angel Delgado and scores like Justin Patton. They’ve got two freshmen shooting an eFG% over 57%. They take their time on offense and they take care of the ball. This will, undoubtedly, be the best team Creighton will face in their non-conference slate (sorry, Gonzaga.)

They’re fast.

They’re long.

They’re brutal.

They did give up a sizable lead to a Wisconsin team made things interesting in the final few minutes of last night’s game, but they didn’t choke it away.

Well, here it is.

Here’s this great opportunity for revenge.

Let’s see if McDermott can catch the Baylor Bear.


Song of the Day - P.O.S - Pieces/Ruins