Location: Omaha, NE
Game time: 1:30pm
Weather at tip-off: 49° fahrenheit, 13mph winds from the south, sunny skies
Radio: Radio: 1620am / 101.9fm / 1620 the Zone App feat the voice of Xmus Jaxon Flaxon-Waxon Bishop
Pre-game show Shootaround on 1620am feat the voice of Ravi Lulla
TV: FS1 or the Fox Sports App feat the voice of Nick Bahe
The Big Bread has breaded four opponents this season whilst being breaded by four opponents. They’ve breaded South Dakota State, Southern (in OT), Washington State, and South Florida. They’ve been breaded by UC Riverside, Southern Utah, George Mason, and Georgia Tech.
The Big Bread can’t rebound worth a shit. When they start to miss shots they begin drowning in a puddle of their own desperation. The Big Bread enjoys an effective shooting percentage of 49.8%, which is good for 145th in the nation. Simultaneously, they also average 15.1 seconds per possession. So they play fast and loose, shoot right away, and hope to God their shots go in.
They returned one player from last year’s team that beat the ever-loving shit out of Creighton. They lost seven consecutive games to the Jays before winning last year, which was a clear sign that they needed to fire Tim Miles and install a new coach. The moment you beat your in-state rival for the first time in damn near a decade is the moment you fire your coach.
I wish Tim Miles and Nick Bahe were calling the game together today.
The Big Bread is not good. They’re not going to be good for a while. When they eventually become good they will be fun to watch and the annual games against Creighton will be incredible experiences with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of possessions. Right now, though, they’re just not very good.
Verba de Ludorum
There hasn’t been a greater time in Creighton’s history against the Big Bread to pull away from the .500 split in the series. The Jays have made up so much ground in the past twenty years and have an opportunity to grow a sizable lead before Bread Hoiberg finally gets his loaf buttered and served hot in unlimited quantities.
A reminder for those new here: the Big Bread hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game. They’re likely going to do that at some point with Bread Hoiberg rolling the dough, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.
The fact is, Bread Hoiberg assembled a team from the scrap heap of college basketball. Creighton has a bunch of guys already bought into a deep and thriving culture. They have players that experienced Bloodbath Saturday last season, where the Bread completely breaded the Jays from tip to finish. They have revenge and an opportunity to get some.
Neither team has a lot of size. The Bread is atrocious at getting rebounds and Creighton is pretty good at it. There’s an expectation that Creighton will come out, guns firing, and try to mirror what happened last year, except with the scoreboard slanted towards them. I expect it. I crave it. My body needs it.
There’s opportunity for players to become pseudo folk heroes in this game, like James Palmer did for the Bread last season, or like Kellen Miliner did for the Jays in 04-05 when he buried a mid-range jumper with time winding down to upend the Bread, or when Grant Gibbs piled on top of Terran Petteway, adding salt and chippiness to a rivalry the sorta kinda needs it.
There are opportunities for Shereef Mitchell to make a statement that Creighton is Nebraska’s hoops team, to grow another crop of talented players out of Omaha that root for him, and in-turn, turn those potential recruits into fans of the Jays, much like Khyri Thomas and Justin Patton did their sophomore years.
There are opportunities for scrappy guys like Marcus Zegarowski to become one of the most hated Bluejays of all time in the air pockets of the Bread. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, a competitive attitude, and appears to be the leader of this team. He can turn the game on a dime, turn it up to ‘11’, and potentially irk some Bread players, adding more fuel to this raging fire of a rivalry.
Sans last year, the McDermott era has been a phenomenal success against the Bread - even in his down year of 2014-15 - due in part because he had Tim Miles’s number. Now, against another former Iowa State coach, he has an opportunity to flex his dad muscles and send two messages; Creighton isn’t to be fucked with and Iowa State made a huge mistake.
CHI Health Center Arena will be packed to the gills in blue. There will be specks of Bread, but I pray to the lord above that they’ll be loafing at halftime, burying their throats in fermented yeast, giving more money to the Omaha tax base.