One of the things that Bluejay fans had been looking forward to for the 2007-2008 season was an early match up potentially with North Carolina, BYU and the rest of the exempt tournament field in Las Vegas. We learned today that the Bluejays have backed out of their commitment to play in the 8 team field for this season.
Sources close to the Bluejay basketball program have confirmed to me that the Jays were scheduled to play North Carolina then BYU at the Thanksgiving tournament but have pulled out. Creighton's 2007-08 non conference schedule currently has St. Joe's, Xavier, Drexel, and Depaul on it. To the coaches, that could be a tough start to the year for a young team. You couple that with the loss of Juco Ty Morrison and the injury to Point Guard Josh Dotzler and Creighton's coaches were concerned about a potential blow to their team's early season confidence. The possibility of a long losing streak to start the season with only 1 senior starter returning wasn't something that Creighton was prepared to entertain.
While you can fully understand what Dana Altman is trying to do with the early part of his schedule, it is a bit sad to not see the Jays match up with the best of the best. UNC vs. Creighton would have been a ton of fun to watch, even if it was a blow out. BYU vs. Creighton would have been the type of game that fans would have measured their program up against. Yes, the non-conference schedule is good - but it's not great. The Jays will once again rely on the strength of the Missouri Valley to get their RPI up to snuff for the NCAA folks if teams like St. Joe's and Xavier have an off year. With UNC, you had a lock in a Top 15 team on the schedule even if they lost.
The North Carolina game would have been game No. 4 of the year. With the new recruiting class and the returning players, the test would have been huge but I still would have wanted to see it. Unfortunately, the Jays fans won't be partying on the strip this year....maybe next year.