Location: Omaha, NE
Time: 7:30pm CT
Weather at tip-off: 28° fahrenheit, winds from the west at 7mph, clear skies
Radio: Radio: 1620am / 101.9fm / 1620 the Zone App feat the voice of Xmus Jaxon Flaxon-Waxon Bishop and Nick Bahe
TV: FS1 or the Fox Sports App
The last time Creighton and Oklahoma played one another in Omaha, Buddy Hield was a junior, TOBY! Hegner was a freshman, and the Jays were in the throes of finding an identity in the first year after The Dougie Era. It had all the makings of a blowout for 23 minutes; Oklahoma had a commanding 44-27 lead and looked to make minced meat out of the team so beloved by some the year prior.
Then, like a bat in the attic that made its way into your living room, all hell broke loose and panic began to set in as Creighton - led by Austin Chatman - chipped away at the lead until it was a deficit, and won the game in the final moments. It was a stupendous effort and one that a lot of Creighton fans haven’t forgotten.
That same Oklahoma team went to the Sweet 16. Creighton missed the post season entirely. A telling example of just how important these non-conference games are, right?
Fuck no. Terrible example. Do not use that as a statistical measure. It’s an aberration.
This year’s rendition of Oklahoma is also pretty dang good. They’re 7-2 on the season, got blown out by Stanford in the Hall of Fame classic, and succumbed to the angry stylings of Gregggggggg Marshall. They have three top-100 wins against Minnesota, Oregon State, and Mizzou. They’ve also beaten up on some bad teams like UTSA, Maryland Eastern Shore, and William & Mary. They also picked up a win against North Texas.
Brady Manek is the guy that pretty much does all the basketball stuff for Oklahoma. He’s real good, a big man that shoots really well, rarely fouls, and has an exquisite feel for the hoops game. He can bomb away from three, but he just enjoys making things confusing and difficult for defenses.
Austin Reaves will try to score a lot. He’s 6’5, shoots the three often, but his expertise is driving and getting fouled. He shot 14 freebies against North Texas, yet has drawn almost 6 fouls per game this season. The Wichita State transfer has seemingly changed his offensive stylings since leaving the sunflower state, shooting less and driving more.
What all of this means is that Denzel Mahoney’s inaugural game will be a matchup nightmare. If Mahoney gets either assignment he’ll be in a world of hurt from the jump - which is both good and bad depending on where exactly his life’s philosophies lay. If he’s emboldened by a challenge he’ll live a fruitful life of extraordinary potential. If he shies away from this rather heafty task, he’ll probably end up writing for a sports blog. The world has unlimited possibilities.
It’s quite possible that this game will mirror that of the Michigan affair - getting eaten alive by a mobile, quick-witted big that can space the floor and make the defense weep. On the other hand, Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t had to run with the likes of the Jays. They both push tempo, ranking in the top 75 in average time of possession.
Verba de Ludorum
I forgot to do this until this afternoon. I completely forgot there was a basketball game tonight. I’m not telling you this so you don’t read my articles ever again because I’m showing you how ignorant I am of the importance of a December 17th game against a good team, it’s just that there’s sort of a malaise that’s been draped upon this season.
Don’t get me wrong; this team is incredibly interesting. It’s just that, well, I’ve been doing this for a while. I enjoyed it a lot when it was a fresh new thing but then it became routine. I write this shit, like twenty people read it, I get no feedback, and the cycle continues.
It’s probably because I’ve written a lot of non-sports shit or said some nonsense to turn people off, rambling on and on in run-on sentences that are strung together by a lackadaisy that’d make your grandmother beat me half to death. Yet when the passion seems to run dry, who’s there to tell you to continue on, to tell you to just keep writing things and something will happen eventually. Something noteworthy. Something that really gets the jimmies jinglin’ again.
Maybe that happens tonight? Maybe the touch of inspiration of watching Creighton or Oklahoma do something will make me want to do this some more? It’s hard to say.
You’ve quit reading by now.
If you have a billion dollars, please give me the billion dollars. I promise I’ll turn it into something cooler than money. Money is fucking stupid. It’s just a thing that you can exchange for goods and services. Watching a feral cat eat a mouse is cooler than money. Watching a whale fight a tiger is cooler than money. Rubbing an oil painting against your face is cooler than money. None of these things are necessary, and you can’t eat an oil painting for sustenance, but you can’t do that with money, either.
The point I’m getting at is that your money is stupid and you might as well give stupid things to a stupid person, like me. Give me your fucking money. I’ll do cool shit with it, like buy an oil painting to rub on my face, or go deep sea diving to see a whale fight a tiger. Just give it to me. You didn’t really earn it. You’re only going to waste it.