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Creighton v #24 Nebraska - Preview

Weird year, weird basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow

Game Time: 5:00pm CT

Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, NE


Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 1400AM in Lincoln

Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Hail Varsity - Nebraska

Tweeters: Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa

Odds & Ends

Nebraska opens as a 7 point favorite over Creighton.

Over/Under is listed at 151.5 according to OddShark

Gambling is for losers. Are you a loser?

Series History


Verba de Ludis

This is Nebraska’s chance.

Their opportunity.

A shot for Tim Miles to get one back against a coach he’s never beaten.

He’s got a top-25 team with high expectations and a rabid fanbase out for blood.

He’s got the best Nebraska team since Petteway, Shields, and Webster navigated the hardwood; the same Nebraska team that lost nine consecutive games to close out the 2014-15 season.

The Cornhuskers have home court against an in-state rival coming off a deflating loss to a solid Minnesota squad. They have their rival being mentioned as a big time player in a college basketball recruiting scandal. They have an upper hand with their kryptonite in coach Darien DeVries absent from the Bluejays’ scout.

They have the stretch-4 big man in Isaac Copeland that the Jays have no statistical or physical answer to. They have the primetime scorer in James Palmer Jr. that will be playing in his first full game against the Bluejays in his Cornhusker career. They have Isaiah Roby, who can look like Michael Jordan in brief, fleeting moments, and can wreak havoc inside lest he succumbs to foul trouble. They have lock-down defenders that can shut down the perimeter and force the Jays inside.

Every analysis of this game that one can mine, every facet that one can study, every gut feeling - microbes and all - directs the observer to the conclusion that, yes, Nebraska should win this game.

If not now, when?

Use it. Use that rational part of your brain. Pump it full of depressing information. Realize that, unlike in years prior, Nebraska has the scorers and the wherewithal to keep up with Creighton’s sprint. These Huskers can run if they need to. For the first time in recent memory, the Big Red Scoring Machine has finally arrived fully lubed and well oiled.

Prognosticators that waste their time making brackets in November pegged this Husker club to make the Sweet 16. That’s a hurdle that Creighton hasn’t cleared in... well, ever.

So there you have it. Nebraska finally gets their win over Creighton.

Song of the Day - Dissolve - Marijuana Deathsquads

Verba De Ludis Pars Duorum (gotcha potator)

So you decided to scroll further down, huh? Most people probably clicked out of this article by now. You’re in rarefied air here my friend. Welcome to the basement of this article. This is where the magic happens. This is where the flooding begins.

Let’s say everything I’ve written up there is absolute bullshit. That’s a pretty good place to start.

Creighton has a fucking boatload of depth. Their offense decimates defenses from all angles, a relentless push that forces their opposition to try to acquire perfection. Nebraska’s true defensive test isn’t forcing Ty-Shon Alexander to sit on the dock of the bay and wish for an open shot, it’s their ability to stop a downhill attack with a geared up Martin Krampelj, a springy 7-foot Aussie in Jacob Epperson, and a rangy and solid euro-option in Samson Froling.

It only gets worse for the Huskers as they have to body up a newly revitalized Davion Mintz. Mintz’s newfound ability to dive to the rim and spot up from three with a supreme confidence can be a killer against a team that doesn’t perform scouts all that well (Geoffrey Groselle is left handed, Tim.). A guy who plays hero in the most meaningful of games in Mitch Ballock will be working in tandem with everyone he shares the court with. Ballock will take opportunities when he can get ‘em, but any moment the Huskers defense sags to double will leave easy buckets for the Jays.

When the defense inevitably takes a few plays off to re-center themselves, Creighton can rely on Damien Jefferson to hit tempo threes with an immense amount of precision. He has a knack for hitting shots at all the right times to continue momentum, yet his ability to drive and score is a boon.

Creighton can rely on stone-cold killer Marcus ‘Zeggy’ Zegarowski to lure the defense into a false sense of security and then stab them right in the eye with a bounce pass to a waiting wing or a three ball of his own from the top of the key. He’s unassuming. He’s deadly accurate. He’s the adderall before finals. Clutch and unwavering.

Deeper still is the veteran presence of Connor Cashaw and Kaleb Joseph. Their contributions aren’t wildly off the charts, but the Jays feature two guys who can come in fresh and keep the ship afloat. They’ve done it all year and there’s no reason to think they’re going to stop in a high stakes game of winner-takes-the-state.

Nebraska’s offense tends to take 4-5 minutes during gameplay to remember that their core philosophy doesn’t include scoring at will. In these moments that’s where they’ve died against the Jays.

It isn’t so much a flaw in their effort. It’s Nebraska’s DNA. Re-watch the Minnesota and Texas Tech games. Their offense stalls when they get punched in the mouth. Mouth punching is what Creighton is really fucking good at.

Creighton probably wins this one.

I’ve boiled it down to three scenarios:

  1. Creighton wins by 15+
  2. Nebraska wins by one possession
  3. We’re all going to have a good time

Only one of those can happen.

It’s not number three.