Thursday, February 14, 2013
Crunch time for Creighton?
By Luke Lapinski
Creighton entered the 2012-13 campaign as the mid-major team to watch above all others. Not only were the Bluejays considered someone to follow closely in March, they began the season ranked No. 16 in the nation. And for the first 18 games, they were more than living up to the hype, dropping just one contest in that time.
The road has become much tougher of late though. Following last night's defeat at the hands of Northern Iowa, Creighton has lost five of eight. Suddenly, Greg McDermott's group is now 20-6 on the year, and 9-5 in conference play.
The Bluejays are still in a good spot, but they're trending in the wrong direction. And, as Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports points out, they're not necessarily a lock to make the NCAA Tournament at this point. The Missouri Valley Conference features some quality teams, but that doesn't mean the league will send a ton of entrants to March Madness. In fact, only two clubs made it from the MVC a year ago, and there are definitely more than two contenders vying for spots right now. The Jays have a potentially overpowering offense -- when they're hitting their shots. But they don't always play the sort of defense that allows them to win when the shots aren't falling against a tough opponent. And now, as Eisenberg contends, they may need to win at least three of their final regular season games just to feel comfortable that they're in.