Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NCAA Tournament Profile: Creighton Blue Jays


Creighton Blue Jays

Record: 26-7 (14-4 Big East)

RPI: 8

BPI: 9

Conference: Big East

How They Qualified: At-large

 

Season Summary

The Creighton Blue Jays entered this season with a lot of momentum. Last season, Creighton won the regular season and tournament championship in the Missouri Valley Conference. That was nothing to sneeze at since Wichita State, an eventual Final Four team, was with Creighton in the MVC last season. The Creighton Blue Jays advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

In the non-conference schedule, the Creighton Blue Jays defeated a solid Arizona State team on a neutral floor and beat Nebraska. That led to Creighton entering Big East conference play with a 10-2 record. Creighton lived up to expectations in the new Big East with a 14-4 record.

Throughout the season, Doug McDermott led the Creighton Blue Jays in statistics and in spirit. McDermott, a senior forward, was the pre-season favorite to win all the player of the year awards, and he did not disappoint. Although the Blue Jays came up short in the Big East tournament final, Doug McDermott performed well under the bright lights in Madison Square Garden.

 

 What You Need to Know

Leading Scorer: Doug McDermott (26.9 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Doug McDermott (7.0 RPG)

Leading Passer: Austin Chatman (4.4 APG)

Bad Losses: @ Georgetown

Good Wins: @St. Joe’s, Nebraska, Villanova (twice)

 

What to Expect

Heading into the NCAA Tournament, the Creighton Blue Jays are a bit of an enigma. Over the course of the regular season, the Blue Jays’ supporting cast was a very capable group. In the Big East tournament final, McDermott was on his own. McDermott is a special player, but Creighton’s success in the Big Dance depends largely on the performance of Wragge, Chatman and Gibbs.

The Creighton Blue Jays have several players capable of putting the ball in the basket, but they are not an intimidating defensive force. Seeding alone will get Creighton through the first round, but the second round matchup will likely be a problem.

Creighton’s NCAA Tournament success will likely depend on match-ups. McDermott and Wragge will lead the Blue Jays past most zone-based teams, but physical, athletic teams will cause trouble for the Blue Jays. Creighton is capable of a solid tournament run, but they could also fall prey to an early round upset.

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