Usually, we dedicate this space to Husker football. With spring football underway, we could certainly discuss NU quarterback Taylor Martinez's quickened tempo or emphasis on pre-snap reads. But so many of us either have picked Creighton in our bracket or simply want to pull for a team from the Cornhusker state in March, that it seems worth one measly post.
The Beast that is the Big East
Even with a program firing on all cylinders like Miami a decade ago, the Big East was nearly always better known for its prowess in basketball than football. While the FBS football teams gone, there is still a strong core of hoops teams. Georgetown has a national championship and a handful of Final Four appearances on its resume. Villanova and Marquette can each claim a national title and another pair of Final Fours. DePaul, Providence, and St. John's have each made a pair of Final Fours. Seton Hall made one too. That's a mighty good start.
That group now adds Butler (who made two Final Fours in recent years), Xavier (who has a pair of Elite 8's and a number of Sweet 16 appearances) and Creighton (who have yet to crack the Sweet 16). The Bluejays can probably credit their invitation to their recent success since over the long term they haven't been on par with the other Big East programs. Creighton is a favorite to beat Cincinnati today and some think they have the firepower to unseat a top seed like Duke in the second round.
Head coach Doug McDermott is in only his third year at Creighton and so far has delivered a College Basketball Invitational Finals appearance, an NCAA tournament win a year ago, and now has his team seeded 7th heading into today's game. In Barney Cotton style, one of his greatest contributions to the team has come in the form of his son Doug.
The younger McDermott was a first-team All-American after last season. This year he's improved his scoring, passing, free throw shooting and three point shooting. He'll have to decide whether to return to the team next year or head to the NBA. He's drawn comparisons to small school alum Wally Szczerbiak, who's averaged 14 points per game over a long NBA career and even made an All-Star appearance.
Doug McDermott has made this Creighton team fun to watch. Win or lose today, he's definitely worth the attention of any Husker fan as he can fire away from anywhere. Next season will bring some marquee programs to the Omaha area. Like it or not, Creighton will now be competing with the big boys for a long time.