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Butler v #25 Creighton - Preview

DOLLA DOLLA BEER NIGHT

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow

Game Time: 7:30pm CT

Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE

TV: FS1

Stream: FSGO

Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9FM the Keg in Omaha / 93.5 FM & 1070 AM in Indianapolis

Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Butler Hoops - Butler

Tweeters:

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

Butler - Marisa Miller / Perry Waggoner / David Woods / Fake Brad Stevens / John Dedman / Jared Grubbs


Odds & Ends

Creighton is favored by 7.5 points according to Odds Shark.

Kenpom has the Jays winning this one 83-76 with a 73% chance of victory.


Series History

Creighton and Butler have played 15 times, with the Jays holding a 9-6 edge in the overall series.

Since joining the BIG EAST, Creighton has won 5 of 8, including a clean sweep last year. In those two games last season, the Bluejays managed to hold Butler superstar Kelan Martin to 7 points and 11 points, respectively.

The reason why Kelan Martin scored so few points is easy enough to discern, as his shadowy counterpart in Khyri Thomas lurked within Martin’s personal space and made him very uncomfortable. In turn, Khyri scored 14 & 15 points in those two games, while grabbing 12 rebounds in the early January affair, good for a double-double.


Verba de Ludis

There are a lot of storylines to run with here. My head has been swimming with narratives since the start of the season whence my eyes perused the schedule, seeing Butler coming to town for yet another dollar beverage night.

Do I run with the ‘dollar beverage’ gimmick? Is it really something all that spectacular at this point, or has it lost its shiny finish since Steve Lavin has mentioned it every opportunity he gets?

I mean, think about it. It isn’t even all that great of a promotion, is it? For an hour and a half before the game fans can get in an extremely long line and get a shitty domestic beer poured into a 12oz cup, only to go to the back of the line and finish the watered down brew just to purchase another one. You’ve seen the general reception of this event - the line’s so long you can only capitalize on the promotion maybe three times through. So after pounding your three 4.20 ABV brews you suddenly have to rush to the restroom where - get this - there’s a line to take a whizz that’s roughly as long as the beer line.

Great.

Then you miss tip off. Then you realize that your kid wandered off somewhere to cause mischief and, while you’ve got a buzz going, you’re so disoriented with all the external stimuli that you decide to leave the game, your kid still roaming the concourses, to think about what you’ve just done.

On the drive you have an existential crisis, wondering why you married that person, wondering why your dad never took you fishing like he always did with Jeremy, your precocious and woodsy neighbor who your dad always preferred to hang out with over you, wondering why your friendly bank teller was having a bad day the last time you saw them, wondering if you’re ever going to find an economical car that looks good while getting good gas mileage. You get home, turn your phone off, and bury your head into a pillow, knowing that tomorrow’s troubles will be dealt with tomorrow.

There’s the other storyline, the one with Butler struggling against teams that play with a high tempo and quick transition. The storyline that states that Butler’s milquetoast offense relies on streaky shooters getting hot at the right time, the one where Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin can only do so much with a limited supporting cast. The one where Butler, somehow, let Georgetown get a 20 point lead on ‘em.

Then there’s the other, more juicy storyline of Kelan Martin v Khyri Thomas. As was mentioned above, Khyri was able to shut down Kelan in both games last year. Kelan was regularly mentioned as one of the best players in college basketball throughout the offseason while Khyri got the cat scraps of prodigious preseason mentions, forcing the hand of some journalists to cry out publicly about the slight, to which Kelan responded incredulously, scoffing at the idea that he was too highly touted. In crunch time against Ohio State, Kelan delivered. In crunch time against Seton Hall, he fell on his keester and surrendered to the basketball Gods.

Khyri, on the other hand, has rarely wavered from his stalwart defense, chomping at the bit to get that marquee matchup against the opposing team’s top scoring threat. He negated Ponds. He negated Cartwright for the short duration he was on the court. The only time he faltered was against Seton Hall. Perhaps that’s something these two can bond over?

Regardless, when it’s Kelan v Khyri, there’s no shortage of fireworks.

Then there’s the other storyline that, according to Rob Anderson’s notes, Creighton is only 715 points away from scoring 20,000 total points at the CenturyLink Center (formerly Qwest Center Arena) which means Creighton will be looking to pour on at least 700 points against Butler to make sure they get the record against Seton Hall next Wednesday.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Creighton:

G SO Davion Mintz - 6’3, 180lbs - 6.1 PPG / 2.75 APG / 50% FG

G JR Khyri Thomas - 6’3, 210lbs - 14.9 PPG / 1.3 SPG / 50% FG

G SR Marcus Foster - 6’3, 205lbs - 18.8 PPG / 43% 3FG / 50% FG

F SR TOBY! Hegner - 6’10, 240lbs - 9.4 PPG / 54% FG / 2.4 RPG

C SO Martin Krampelj - 6’9 220lbs - 12.7 PPG / 66% FG / 8 RPG

Butler:

G SO Kamar Baldwin - 6’1 170lbs - 15.3 PPG / 43% FG / 3.1 APG

G JR Paul Jorgenson - 6’2 185lbs - 11.8 PPG / 42% 3FG / 46% FG

G SO Sean McDermott - 6’6 190lbs -7.9 PPG / 48% FG / 4.5 RPG

F SR Kelan Martin - 6’7 220lbs - 19.8 PPG / 30% 3FG / 44% FG

C SR Tyler Wideman - 6’8 240lbs - 9.4PPG / 4.9RPG / 69% FG

Song of the Day - The Growlers - ‘I’ll Be Around’