Friday, March 28, 2008

Help John Atkinson!!!

Below is the email that was sent to me today about John Atkinson, a man from Omaha, graduate of UNL, and a life long golfer. John came on the air today to ask for your vote:

I have a friend who entered a contest to play golf at Torrey Pines, the site of the 2008 U.S. Open, his name is John Atkinson. Out of more that 56,000 contestants he has been chosen as one of the five finalists.

Let me tell you why I’m sending this to all of you. John was diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable Aden carcinoma--non-small cell lung cancer a year ago tomorrow. John has never smoked and we don’t know how he got this horrible disease. He’s a 39 year old husband and father of 3 children. Most people with this type of lung cancer do not live for more than 5 years after the diagnosis. John, along with all of his friends and family, has taken on the attitude that he can beat this. He has been enrolled in a clinical study at Methodist Hospital for the past year and has gone through numerous treatments of chemotherapy. Thankfully, after a year, the cancer is stable and has not spread to any other part of his body.

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, yet is drastically under funded and under researched. There is no early detection for this cancer and over 160,000 will die from it this year alone. John feels this is the kind of opportunity to show America what is possible, even when faced with a life altering disease.

Whether you’re a golfer or not I’d really appreciate it very much if we can give John the votes needed to let him play at Torrey Pines. You’ll have to register to vote and if you don’t want to that’s your prerogative. But if you could do me just this one favor I know John would very much appreciate it. Once you register you can vote once a day for the next month and then the person with the most votes will get to play with 3 celebrities, Matt Lauer, Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake, a week before the US Open, and it will be taped by NBC. The other 4 contestants still get to play Torrey Pines they just won’t be taped.

To vote for John, please go to:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Go U. GO UMass. GO U-MASS!

Down 22 points, on the road, against Syracuse, UMass came back to WIN their quarterfinal NIT game and punch their ticket to the NIT Final Four at MSG! I know it's the NIT....but give Travis Ford's club a TON of credit for outworking, out hustling, and just out playing the Orange down the stretch tonight!! Coach Ford is rebuilding the program wonderfully - next year could be big if this continues. I just hope he stays in Amherst.

81-77 UMass! Jim Boehiem is now 0-4! against the Minutemen all time! What a game....what a win!! Great win boys! You are making us Alums very proud!!

Now, go win the whole damn thing in NYC. By the way, I'm nearly perfect on my NIT bracket. Yes, it's the NIT but my final four is Florida, UMass, VTech, and Ohio St. 1 correct...3 to go.

Interview with UMass Coach Travis Ford Here - yes it's now correctly linked

Monday, March 24, 2008

Go Davidson!

Normally this would piss me off but since they are a 10 seed and have a awesome story...I'm cool with them ripping us Red Sox Fans off....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Live at Sarie's Lounge Tonight

You can come watch the late games with Brian and I at Sarie's Lounge (next to the gentlemen's club) 6 blocks away from the Qwest on Abbot Drive tonight from 8 to 10 pm. Should be fun ;)

5 games so far - This is no Tampa....

I want to see an upset! These games haven't been good at all here in Omaha. I'm not bitching. I could be watching all these games at home but instead I'm courtside in Omaha. However, I would really like to see Kansas lose this game for the sheer fact that we haven't had even a whiff of an upset. KU killed Portland St. UNLV whitewashed Kent St. USC was handled easily by KSt, and Wisconsin took care of Cal St. Fullerton. Today - same story...KSt got blown out by Wisconsin.

So, here we are - waiting on the Kansas - UNLV game, hoping for a shocker. Most have KU in their final four (as do I) but I want to see an upset. Tampa has had all the good ones so today Duke lost in DC to West Virginia. When does Omaha get their great game? I don't care if KU wins....but let's make it interesting at least! How about a last second shot or a foul at the buzzer resulting in 2 ft's?

Again, I know it's asking for a lot but we've had 5 games so far....can we have 1 that's really close? Let's see...

Tough End To A Successful Season

The Bluejays ended their 2007-2008 season with a thud. CU got a taste of what the rest of the country is going to experience in the near future with the Gators - tough, fast, very good basketball players who want to take Florida back to the top. UF was 5-1 all time against NIT foes at home and showed why their only loss was a 2 point defeat to Georgetown last night.

Creighton played horribly and Florida was just on. The result was a 28 point beat down. Not the effort Dana Altman wanted but I didn't think they would win anyways...Florida is still Florida. Nick Calathes is a PLAYER and had the school's 2nd EVER triple-double. Their post players can really run the floor and they have shooters all over the floor.

The real disappointing number was turnovers - 21 of them. The Jays had only 5 assists! Nick Bahe ended his Jays career with a career high 5 turnovers. Booker Woodfox was 2 for 14 from the floor ending his great run of performances to end the year. Kenny Lawson, Dane Watts, and Kenton Walker couldn't do anything on the inside as well.

It's very hard to win on the road in college basketball, but the atmosphere in Gainsville was a great learning experience for the baby Jays. Now, it's time to get to work for Cavel, P, Book, Kenny, and Kenton. It's their team now. Add some good new recruits and the future is bright.

The Jays end the year with 22 wins, all important streaks continued, and a thrilling post season win. Nobody can say that this year wasn't a success given the expectation level that many had for this team. Rarely does a team meet expectation. Normally they go above or below. But the Jays were picked 4th in the Valley - they finished 4th. They were picked for the NIT - they made it to the NIT. They were expected to beat Nebraska - and did. They were expected to extend the streaks - and did.

Now the Jays look towards a 2008-2009 season in which they mostly likely will be picked to win the Valley. The NCAA tournament will be expected out of this bunch. You can only hope that the development continues under Dana Altman and the team learns from their mistakes this season. Consistency will be the No. 1 thing CU must improve. The roller coaster ride will not be accepted as easily next year.

All in all....a VERY fun year. Only 3 teams this year will end their seasons with a win. When you lose in all honesty, doesn't matter. However, you hope that the performance in Gainsville is the motivational fuel the Jays use to get better for next year.....when does the Council Bluffs Summer League start?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Open Practice Schedule

Many people have asked about this for tomorrow:

Practices (open to media and general public)
Noon-12:40 p.m. Portland State
12:45-1:25 p.m. Kent State
1:30-2:10 p.m. Kansas
2:15-2:55 p.m. UNLV
4:25-5:05 p.m. USC
5:10-5:50 p.m. Wisconsin
5:55-6:35 p.m. Kansas State
6:40-7:20 p.m. Cal State Fullerton

Monday, March 17, 2008

This Week's Schedule

What a CRAZY WEEK!!! My God! It's 5:30 am and I can't I'm up getting ready for this week. Here's the Schedule.....Farrell's is located at 9th and Dodge, a block from the Qwest Center - Your Basketball Party Headquarters!

Monday: Big Show Live from Farrell's from 2 to 6 pm - St. Patrick's Day Party! Preview all the basketball this week!

Tuesday: Big Show Live from Farrell's, Creighton vs. URI Pregame Show at 7:30 pm for NIT. Post Game show after the game approx. 11:30 to 1 am.

Wednesday: Big Show Live from Farrell's. NCAA Press Conferences Live, Nebraska vs. Charlotte in Lincoln at 8 pm

Thursday: KU vs. PST at 11:30 am. Big Show Live from Farrell's. KSt. vs. USC at 6:10 pm live at the Qwest Center. Then Wisconsin vs. Cal. St. Fullerton

Friday: Big Show Live from Farrell's to recap the week and preview Saturday

Saturday: 2nd round action begins at 3:20 pm - 2nd game 30 mins after

8 games in 5 days - WHAT A WEEK OF BASKETBALL!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

NCAA Game Times

Thursday Game Times for the NCAA's at Qwest:

Game 1: KU vs. Portland St. 11:25 am
Game 2: Kent St. vs. UNLV - 30 min afterwards

Game 3: USC vs. Kansas St. 6:10 pm
Game 4: Wisconsin vs. Cal St. Fullerton - 30 min. afterwards

Should be a blast!

Who Is Charlotte and Rhode Island

So who is coming here for the NIT? We've got 2 teams from the Atlantic 10 conference coming to the to Lincoln and one to Omaha. They both aren't household name programs so I'll do my best to tell you what I know about them since I'm the A-10 kid here.

Charlotte 49ers - 20-13, 9-7 in conference tied for 4th
Coach: Bobby Lutz, 10th year
NIT Record under Lutz: 1-2
Best Player: Leemire Goldwire - 30 points or more 6 times this year
Team: LOVES the 3 point shot, L Temple in the A-10 Semi-Finals.
Best wins: At Clemson, SUI, Wake Forest
Road Record: 4-7

Rhode Island Rams- 21-11 7-9 in conference tied for 9th
Coach: Jim Baron, 7th year
NIT Record under Baron: 2-2
Best Player - Will Daniels - 1st Team A-10, 18.7 pts/6.7 rebs per
Team: Lost to Charlotte in last 2 gms. Lost 7 of 8. 3-9 since 2-1-08
Best Wins: At Syracuse, UAB
Road Record: 7-6 (1-3 last 4)

We'll talk about future oppenents as they come up if NU and CU advance.

Tom Shatel Was Right

Tom Shatel came on the show this week and said that Nebraska had a good chance to host an NIT game. From the people I talked to and the projections had NU as a low seed, "on the bubble" if you would. That obviously wasn't the case and now Nebraska will host a game against Charlotte out of the A-10 as a 3 seed. To me - way too high but the NCAA is in love with the power conferences in the NCAA - so why should the NIT be any different. 8 Teams from the Big 12 in the post season...9 from the Big East.

Nebraska gets a tougher first game than Creighton does but they get an easier 2nd round game than CU if they advance. Ole Miss out of the SEC is a up and coming team but they wanted to be in the NCAA's...not the NIT. The SEC as a whole was very down this year (see Georgia winning the conference tourney after having 4 wins all year) and Ole Miss will be beatable if NU gets past Charlotte (A-10 team which beat UMass to send them into the NIT as a 2 seed - I'm not a fan of them!).

Creighton gets an easier first round game as they get to see Rhode Island - a team that is on a downward spiral out of the A-10. To be honest, I hate URI. I'm a UMass kid...we hate the Rams! At one point, URI was headed to the NCAA's but they fell apart down the stretch due to poor play and injuries. If the Jays get past the Rams, they get to go to....FLORIDA! Defending National Champions!! Not an easy match up at all for Dana Altman's club! It would be interesting to see how the people in Gainsville would view an NIT match up with CU since they beat them in the NCAA's the last time they met.

However, this is great for the Jays and Nebraska. They both get home games against teams that probably wouldn't ever come to the state and then they get to go on the road to face BCS schools out of the SEC. To get to New York, Nebraska will have to face an ANGRY VTech team in Blacksburg. For the Jays, it's maybe a rematch with the boys from CARBONDALE! or a trip to Tempe. Never easy to win on the road, especially in the postseason. We can pull for upsets but 3 seeds normally don't get to play 7 seeds.

NIT Game on...let's see how the team's do....I think they both are out in Round 2.

Omaha Is Gonna Rock!!

If you have tickets to the games in Omaha....LUCKY YOU!! Wow, do we have a some great games coming to the Qwest Center. The NCAA really gave us some great teams to watch.

The games on Thursday aren't that interesting except the battle of SICK freshmen - O.J. Mayo and Michael Beasley.

No. 1 seed Kansas vs. No. 16 Portland State
No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Kent State
No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Cal State Fullerton
No. 6 USC vs. No. 11 Kansas State

Saturday could be REALLY fun though!! KU vs. UNLV/Kent St., Wisconsin vs. USC/K ST. Those games are going to be AWESOME!

Drake vs. UConn in the 2nd round?? I think the Dogs are going to the Sweet 16!

Sorry to Ill. St. That really hurts for the MVC. The rumor has been that the Valley has been down but 6 Big 12 and 6 SEC teams...3 A-10, 3 WCC...that just killed The Redbirds. Only 6 non-power conference teams in!!! That is just awful! 12 in 2004...6 to 2008....UMass, Illinois St not in but Villanova and St. Joe's? I have a problem with that but overall...I don't have a huge problem with the bracket.

NIT show coming at 8 pm....I'll post more after we find out about CU and NU

Thursday, March 13, 2008

NIT Bubble

I just want this on 19 wins - Nebraska is now on the bubble for the NIT. I'm not saying the won't, for sure, get in. But they will lose to KU and be 19-12, 8-10 in the Big 12 on Selection Sunday. Their RPI will be around 100 as well. I know people around here are expecting an NIT bid but the win over Missouri just put them on the the conversation. But I don't see it yet...not with the number of NCAA bids going to lower major teams....the bump down affect will knock Nebraska out of the NIT unless they beat KU.

Should be an interesting Selection Sunday

Help My Cousin Raise Money!!!

My cousin 26 years old and she is training for the Nashville Marathon. I'm trying to help her raise money to meet her goal. She has $800 to go to meet her goal of $3000. Her story and contact info is below....thanks!

As you may know, I am training for the Nashville Country Music Marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. In return for the 4-month training program, I am required to raise $3000 by April 26 for the Society to fund research to find a cure for blood cancers. I have emailed out my fundraising webpage ( to friends and family and, while many have been very generous, $3000 is a lot of money and I need to start getting creative in order to reach my fundraising goal. I am hosting fundraising Happy Hours and a car wash to raise money. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ( is a wonderful cause, and I am happy to raise the money, but it's getting tough!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Excuse Me!???

"The overwhelming majority of the citizens have spoken,” said Gernandt, who represents the area around Rosenblatt Stadium and is a leading opponent of building a new downtown stadium. “I’m not sure how else the mayor can spin the results of his three public forum"

That statement was made today by Councilmen Gernandt to the Omaha World Hearld today. This is the type RIDICULOUS crap that is causing a divide in our city. An OVERWHELMING majority? Are you kidding me? Our city has 400,000 people in it. Less than .005% (around 1,300 people showed over 3 events) of the city showed up for the Mayor's public hearings...and not everyone was against the proposal. What numbers are you using Mr. Councilmen? Some online poll or worse, are you just sticking your finger up into the air and going which direction the wind blows? You better have facts before you say something like that....and you don't have any to back up that statement.

South O needs to realize that the your greatest asset is the ZOO! Not the College World Series. You should want EVERYTHING to benefit the zoo long term and the new deal does that. He wants to spend $40 to $80 Million? You won't get a long term deal then! This is not hard to figure out!!

Man, this is politics at its worst....small mindedness is kiling this city right now. PLEASE call your Councilmen and wake them up!!

Mascot Wars! Oral Roberts's Gets Slammed...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Contact Your City Councilmen Today!

The negative, anti-ball park people have had their time in the sun. It's time to let the guys who CAN vote for the funding of the park to hear from people who want this city to move forward!!

Councilman Chuck Sigerson, Jr - 444-5526
Councilman Franklin Thompson - 444-5523
Councilman Dan Welch - 444-5528
Councilman Gary Gernandt - 444-5522
Councilman Jim Vokal - 444-5525
Councilman Frank Brown - 444-5524
Councilman Jim Suttle - 444-5527

Call or email but make them KNOW that you want our city to progress and want the college world series to stay for A LONG time!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

11:32 41-45

Jays still down but that 3 by Booker was huge. They have to get a stop or two here and the SCORE!....Drake needs to feel the pressure of the MVC tourney. Not that CU has been here before either but they gotta get some stops! This game will be decided on the defensive end. You just have the feeling that CU is simply hanging on.....Drake is so relaxed all the time - you don't want to believe they are this good...but everytime they play a good team - they rise up to another level.....

12:20 38-45

Jays can't trade baskets with Drake. They are better on offensive than the Jays. DU can hit 3's from anywhere and they have been awful this game shooting...but so have the Jays.

6-22 from 3 for DU. Jays are 5-17. Game favors DU.

14:52 31-36

7-0 run for the Jays to start the half but Drake answered the call. Good to P'Allen and Woodfox hit some shots but the bad news is that Drake is starting to get 2nd chance points!

Jays gotta keep boxing out and playing hard on D! They need to slow down a little bit too...Witter is sped up too much on the offense end trying to do too much. Jays still in it but they have got to keep crashing the boards...DU is ice cold from 3 but they keep firing.

Halftime 21-30

The half can be broken in half….first 10 – great. 2nd 10 – awful. They are ice cold from the outside. Give DU credit here – they are forcing the Jays to shoot it from the outside not believing that they can. Dana has to find a way to attack this 2-3 zone that DU is playing and they have to start hitting their outside shots. They are still in this game for sure but they need to keep pushing. P’Allen getting T’d up is not a good sign for the demeanor of this team right now. They are frustrated with the fact that they are getting beat by a better basketball team. They haven’t haven’t been able to handle DU all year and that half was the exactly why

Jays Fg % - 36%...1 fg is last 10 minutes!!!
DU Fg % - 40%....4-14 from 3.

Jays 3% - 2-11! 18%

Jays outrebounding DU 19-15 - really kept them in the game...

This could get ugly though....not looking good for the Bluejays.

:39 21-30

Jays are in real trouble right now....DU is starting to get hot. P'Allen's T has him with 3 fouls and the offense can't do anything right now against the 2-3 zone....


Turnovers are killing the Jays!! Kenny Lawson had a chance to score 4 points on his own and couldn't do it...missed 3 layups! Jays have turned the ball over 9 times already!

Yet they are only down by 3. P'Allen and Chad Millard are WAY off right now from the outside. They aren't hitting their shots....

It's a 9-1 run for Drake right now. Need to find some kind of offensive rhythm against this 2-3 zone....

7:40 19-17

Well, the Jays have 7 turnovers to 2 for Drake! They have got to take care of the basketball!! They aren't playing well right now against the 2-3 just have the feeling that Drake is getting comfortable and they will start to hit their 3's.

Pierce Hibma is playing AMAZING D on Josh Young and he still scored on his last drive to the basket.

Kenny Lawson and Dane Watts have been the story for the Jays so far but they need P, Book, and Witter to start hitting from the outside. Jays are 6-16 from the field while DU is 8-15. Tempo is right where the Jays want it and they are still outrebounding DU 13-6 - that has to continue!

The next 4 minutes are REALLY important.

11:11 16-13 Jays

This game has started great for the Jays. DU is missing 3's and the Jays are rebounding. Kenny Lawson again is making a great name for himself in the Valley with his play. The Jays are 7-12 shooting against this 2-3 zone that the Bulldogs are playing.

Jays turned the ball over 3 times in the first 4 minutes but haven't turned it over since. They have to keep rebounding and pushing temp. DU is 2-7 from 3 but the Jays are outrebounding DU 10 to 4!!

CU needs Booker to get on track from distance.....

15:15 5-4

Good Start - DU missing a lot of 3s 1-5

Pregame Thoughts....

Well, it's fun in here right now. Lots of excitement and talk from the fans. A TON of blue in the this building....

Josh Young is missing a lot of shots in warm ups....wanna bet he hits a ton during the game? I will. I'm a touch surprised to see a lot fans from teams knocked out staying around....good for the arena but not good for Omaha people coming down here to try to get into the building.

Jays have to guard against the quick start for Drake. They love to get it going fast with bombing 3's. Klayton Korver needs to have an off game today in my opinion - he could really affect this game if he gets hot. Plus, Mr. Korver is wearing Drake gear and sitting behind the DU maybe that's enough for Jays' fans to pull against a Korver? Maybe :).

Enjoy this one....should be a lot of fun. I say Jays 78-75. I'm 0-2 picking CU vs. DU games. And 0-1 here in St. Louis picking Jays' games so I might be bad luck.


Thanks to Kevin Sarver who corrected me that CU has never faced Drake in the MVC Tourney....the Jays have faced them.....but Dana Altman has not. CU is 3-1 all time vs. Drake in the tourney.....

Friday, March 7, 2008

Barry Hinson Is Pure Class

Well, I just came out of the most amazing press conference I've ever been a part of. Barry Hinson took questions for around 15 minutes from the media about his loss to ISU but more about his soon departure from Missouri St.

Barry has been nothing but class and my favorite interview in the Valley. He was crying basically the entire time he was on the podium. When the moderator told the media that we had 2 minutes left with him, Barry said "this ain't no academy awards, if this is it - we got all the time in the world. I love these guys and we ain't got nothing going on tonight". The room burst out laughing.

Barry got a standing ovation from the media as he left the podium. I have nothing but A TON of respect for the man, not just the coach. This posting isn't doing the presser justice. I will try my best on Monday when I get back to Omaha to put the entire press conf. up on our website. It really has to be heard to be fully understood. If that's the last time I hear him speak....I feel blessed for the opportunity. Even as he is about to get fired, he cracked jokes: "I was dean of the league for one before Dana realized he didn't like pork". That's Barry.

Missouri St. didn't go to the NCAA tourney in 9 years under Barry Hinson. I get that they aren't happy but Coach did it the right way. He graduated players. He cared about his kids, his program, and his fans. He represents everything that college basketball should be about. I will miss him for sure. MSU better know what they are doing too. You can't control the selection committee and Barry Hinson has a resume that is as good as many in the Valley today. One trip to the dance and he would have kept his job. Who's gonna get you there? Bob Knight? Please. Eddie Sutton? Come on. Bruce Webber? We'll have to wait and see.

I walked up to Barry after it and shook his hand and said thank you for everything. When I tried to introduce myself and he said "I know who you are Matt, I'm sorry I can't talk". He then turned and walked away still crying. His wife, standing a few feet away, was also in tears. It was one of the most emotional moments of my career.

I'm only 30 years old. I'm not the oldest, most mature, or best talk show host in the Valley. But tonight, I feel like one of the luckiest to get the chance to cover Barry Hinson. I wish him the best of the luck and I hope he gets another job very soon.

Good Luck Barry. You were the best voice and cheerleader the Valley could have asked for.

Creighton vs. Drake Round 3

Can the Jays get to Sunday? To do that - they will have to beat nationally ranked Drake...a team they are 0-2 against this year. At least they had beaten Bradley before they played today.....but here's the thing - I think they can. Here's why:

Drake was 3-3 down the stretch and I saw something today in their game vs. ISU that surprised me a bit...they looked a touch slower to the ball. They have been fighting this image that nobody respects them for the entire season. They fit their roles so well - but everything that goes up - must come down. And I think this team is on their way down. The Bulldogs weren't quick to the ball like they normally play and they got beat on the boards...there is the key - Rebounding!

The Jays were great on the boards for the most part against Bradley. They didn't give up many easy 2nd chance looks and they hustled after every ball....they wanted it more. That has to be their game tomorrow... ALL HEART!

The Keys to winning:

1. Cavel Witter has to out play Emmenecker
2. Jays must out rebound Drake
3. Jays must hit more 3's than Drake
4. Kenny Lawson has to play the game of his young career

Stat to watch: Curse of the One Seed
Dana Altman is 5-0 against top-seeded teams in the MVC Tournament, lifting the Jays record to 6-1 overall against the top-seed. Creighton beat the top-seed in 1984, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007 but fell in 1988.
The MVC Tournament has not been won by the top seed since 1998. Additionally, the top seed has dropped its semifinal game in three of the past four seasons


What a Win....

There are games that you watch as a media member that you have more of an interest in than others. Today was an interesting game because EVERYONE....and I mean everyone was picking Bradley to win. They were too quick, too fast, too big, too strong for the Jays....and they I'm not really sure except to say they just wanted it more.

The Jays went on a 17-4 run in the first half to have a big lead at the break, largely thanks to a triangle and 2 defense that confused Bradley. Offensively, it was the post play of Kenny Lawson and Dane Watts that really made the difference. Dane had 5 rebounds - all offensive, and Kenny had 8 himself. They called for the ball and played with a ton of heart.

But Bradley was Bradley and before we knew it - it was 67-67. Jays blew another big lead and they couldn't hit 3's in the 2nd half (1-11). They settled for outside shots and when they got to the line - they missed a few key free throws that would have iced the game. But in the clutch, it was Cavel Witter was buried 2 ft's to give the game to the Jays. 74-70. Jays advance.

This team is growing up right in front of our eyes. The CU fans here in St. Louis were awesome and the team really responded. P'Allen ran off the floor with his arms raised, fist pumping all the way to the locker room. You could feel the momentum for the Jays flowing....let's see if they can continue it tomorrow vs. Drake.

74-70 W HUGE WIN!

Jays win! Much more to come on this game as I'll write a lot more tonight. Jays vs. Drake tomorrow afternoon. Pregame at Noon - Tip at 1:35....GET DOWN HERE!

Internet Issues...AWESOME start....

Jays are up 40-27 over Bradley. This is the team that we thought could be a dangerous one all year. Witter driving to the basket and creating. Woodfox hitting 3's. P'Allen throwing down dunks. Lawson crashing the boards. Watts, Hibma, and Bahe filling out their rolls. Dana has his team playing!

They have to watch out for the run that Bradley will get into by hitting 3's. They have been WIDE open and simply have missed. That happens in St. Louis with the tight rims and different setting. This game is NOT over!

Jays have to keep up the energy and scoring. They went on a 17-4 run to get the lead but they let 7-2 run happen at the end of the half for the lead to get cut down to 13.

P'Allen has 2 fouls...the 2nd of which was a joke! They have to keep pushing the tempo and play DEFENSE!!

** the courtside internet is down so I'm in the backroom writting this. If it come back I'll continue to blog from the court...if not...I'll post a full recap after the game is over.

0-11, 0-9, 0-7!!

Jays have been behind every first media timeout vs. Bradley!! They scored finally thanks to Dane Watts but they gotta get the offense going!

Bradley getting open 3's but missing

Pregame Thoughts

Jays look relaxed here in at the ScottTrade Center....can't say the same for the CU staff and administration. Nobody here looks comfortable with this match-up with Bradley. I only hope that BU feels the same way about this game.

Fans are about equal for Jays and Bradley....A LOT for both are here. They are both in the same section of the building so the team shooting at the left side basket won't have much to deal with....other way - both fans will be involved.

Keys to Victory:
1. Contain the dribble pentration and kick out
2. Get out on the shooters from behind the arc
3. Big Games from the fresh faces - Book, Cavel, and P

Can they do it? I don't think so....80-74 Bradley.

Drake Wins Big

All Bulldogs in the 2nd half....ISU got tired and Drake was just too good....Drake will play the winner of Jays vs. Bradley.


Well, the Sycamores are doing something the Jays couldn't do - rebound against Drake! If they keep this up - they could make this a game in the 2nd half. It's been a game of streaks so far...and Drake has been sloppy with the basketball and they have given up A LOT of 2nd chance opportunties to ISU.

Halftime - Drake leads by only 6: 32-26 and Kevin McKenna has to love that as the 8 seeded ISU are within 2 positions!! Can they hold it together?

Keys to the 2nd half for ISU to win:
1. HIT their shots!
2. Continue to rebound the ball on both ends
3. Get Tunnel in the game with more touches

Upset Coming?

Live from Press Row - The Trees are hanging tough! Down right now by only 2 points to Drake with 5 to play in the first half.

If ISU could just hit their shots! They need to get the ball inside to Tunnel like they did last night as he has a MAJOR size advantage. ISU also needs to hit their shots. They have caused a bunch of turnovers but they have missed a bunch.

Much more to come....

Thursday, March 6, 2008

First Of Many Updates From MVC

Game 1 tonight was everything I hoped it would be as Indiana St. outlasted Wichita St. It was a great game between 2 ok teams which featured the coach of the Shockers behaving just like I thought he would - like a jerk. In fact, I stayed JUST to see him melt down. You KNEW it was going to happen....

Yup, our old friend Gregg (with 2 g's!) Marshall got tossed with 12 minutes to go in the game vs. Indiana St. Completely predictable! He became the first coach to get tossed in what is believed Valley tourney history! The guy is a complete embarrassment to the Valley and Wichita St. He and his ego simply don't fit in the MVC. He got is ass kicked all year and bitched to whomever would listen. He bumped a ref after getting tossed and then tried to tell everyone that he didn't say anything to the refs to get tossed.....RIIIIGHT.

Watch for this story tomorrow - Marshall didn't criticize the refs all that much in the post game presser for the 2 T's he got but he was heard RIPPING the rips to a St. Louis reporter outside the press room. If what he said gets printed, the Valley is going to have to act in some manner. Regardless, congrats to Kevin McKenna on his first Valley tourney win. They have Drake in less than 12 hours....tough task.

Game 2 was NOT the swan song for Barry Hinson at MSU. The Bears renewed the talk of a Valley run for them as they killed Evansville. Could Missouri St beat the Redbirds tomorrow? I'm going to say yes.

Pregame at 1 pm tomorrow for the Jays and Bradley, live from St. Louis!! Talk to you then and let's see if the Jays can hang around here for the weekend.

Live From St. Louis

Arrived and getting ready to head over to the Scotttrade Center for the show today live from the MVC Tournament. 2 to 6 pm.

I can tell you it's much colder here than in Omaha and they just had a big snow storm a few days ago. I've already seen lots of Jays fans down here. Keep checking the blog for constant updates throughout the entire tournament including during every game that is played.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sad Day....

It's sad when a negative attack ads work to change the minds of voters at the last minute in Texas and Ohio. Hillary Clinton's campaign should be ashamed of it's behavior. The red phone was ringing for her campaign and they behaved like all the drowning candidates in history. It won't matter in the end as the math won't work for her but this is why young people have been dropping out of the political process for years. Disenfranchised voters line up by the thousands in support of Obama because he is something different and new....too bad Clinton was able to use old school politics to scare her way back into the race. And we wonder why people don't believe in the system...our own faults get in the way of it changing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nice Effort In Austin

Nebraska deserves credit for their effort tonight against No. 9 Texas. They were down 43-26 at one point in the game and it looked like the Longhorns were poised to run NU out of the gym like I thought they would. Going in I thought UT would cover the 14 point spread after losing their last game but Nebraska had other plans.

There are some questions coming out of this game to discuss. What would have happened if Aleks Maric had hung onto the ball down 2 with 14 seconds to play on that stupid end zone pass by Texas? In fact, I don't know how he DIDN'T make that play. Would it have mattered if Doc Sadler hadn't burned the team's final timeout with 2:51 to go in the game? I know that it was a close game but they could have used a timeout down by 2 with the ball. What if Texas hadn't hit their free throws? They were perfect down the stretch.

I thought Texas bought into their own hype a bit and stopped playing as hard as they were in the first half and NU picked it up big time. 70-66 final. Nice effort but a loss is a loss in March. There are no moral victories. A win would have put NU in the NIT for sure. Now, they will have a losing record in the Big 12 and their RPI will continue to go down. Margin of loss doesn't factor into the NIT decisions. Nebraska now has to hold serve against Colorado this weekend and get ready for the Big 12 tournament.

I'll say this about their defense....the Big 12 hasn't seen anything like it this season and it's causing some major problems for teams. It's not leading to wins all the time as the offense isn't that good but I don't think anyone wants to play them in KC. Going forward, if Nebraska gets a few better scorers on their roster, they might be a tough team to deal with playing D like that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Greatest Game Ever At The Qwest

For those lucky enough to be at the Qwest Center last night, the 2nd of 3 Bradley-Creighton games on the year will never be forgotten. 111-110 in double overtime but that doesn't tell the entire story of this game. There were moments - amazing moments that reminded me of why I love college hoops. Down 14 in the first half, up 17 in the 2nd, down 5 in one OT, down 6 in the 2nd, 1 point win. Wow.

The win extended streaks, gave the team momentum and put them into the post season. But it did more than gave Jays' fans a thought that they might be able to win 3 games in 3 days in St. Louis after all. A Dana Altman team had never given up 100 points in game at CU before...his team gave up 110 and won! I know that sounds a little nuts because they couldn't play defense but they found a way to get it done and made plays when they had to.

Let's start with the first half. At Bradley, the Braves went up 11-0 on their way to hammering the Jays. In Omaha, behind the fans rightful booing of Daniel Ruffin every time he touched the ball, BU went up 9-0. Then came moment No. 1 - down 16-10 - Kenny Lawson came up with a huge block to start a fast break. Josh Dotzler took the outlet and threw a perfect lob to P'Allen who went up as high as I can remember him ever getting to throw it down. The best crowd of the year, decked in blue, erupted for the first time of many.

Next, we got a chance to watch Cavel Witter begin his hot streak that would end with him scoring a Qwest Center record 42. He busted down 3 different Braves with an ankle breaking cross over and dribble-drive move to the hoop. Coach Jim Les was forced to take a time out as the Jays cut their lead to 29-24. They were up 14 at one point in the first half.

On Senior night, one of them made his mark at the end of the first half with a 3 pointer at the buzzer. Nick Bahe's last second 3 was right in the middle of a 22-2 run for Jays that eventually would put them up 17. It included a T being called on Jim Les for running his mouth at the refs at which point the game looked over. 61-44 Jays. Ballgame right? Revenge for Perioa right?....but we were just beginning.

P'Allen Stinnet's Technical Foul was the turning point in this game for Bradley. After on Offensive Foul on BU, P walked past the offending Brave and said something quietly to him. The ref quickly blew the T in response. When asked why the T was called, the explanation given the bench according to a source close to the program was that P'Allen got into the face of Brave player. The problem - P didn't do that! I'm not saying he shouldn't have been T'd up....he should have but for saying something....that's not why they called it. A 17 point lead for the Jays eventually turned into a 84-84 game with 4.5 to go.

The Braves had their first of MANY chances to win the game at the end of regulation as Theron Wilson went straight at the rack. Dane Watts had his senior night moment as he stepped in to take a charge to send the game into overtime. HOWEVER! Here is an interesting thing a birdie by the scorers table told me....the first call was an offensive foul on Wilson for an elbow! That would have been 2 Ft's for the Jays! When the call was changed by one ref to a charge, the refs huddled. The end result was Dana Altman being told that there wasn't a TV monitor to look at since the game wasn't on TV so we were going to overtime. Dana didn't complain and simple said that it was the right thing to do. I would have flipped out.

The 2 OT's were just crazy. Jays down by 5 in the first, down by 6 in the 2nd....yet they won. Nick Bahe blew 2 free throws with the chance to push the lead to 3 and then had a UNREAL rebound off a Booker missed 3 to give him another shot....he didn't miss that time. How about P'Allen's deflecting of the ball off a Bradley player to get the Jays a possession to send it to double OT? Amazing moment. Amazing game....on 3 different occasions I said to myself "game over" as in - Jays lose. They just wouldn't let it happen.

Even the refs getting in the way didn't mess the game up for me. Traveling call on Bradley in a key moment (right call), traveling call on Hibma while he laid on the floor (make-up call), it felt as if the Jays were gonna get screwed in the end. Didn't happen though. Bradley had the ball with a chance to win at the end of regulation, overtime and double-overtime, but each time the Jays countered with a defensive stop. They wanted it more including Pierce Hibma's defense on Daniel Ruffin when they needed it most.

Sophomore Cavel Witter's performance was unreal and was the difference on Senior Night. He just refused to be denied, hitting big shot after big shot. 42 points overall. 32 after halftime. 18 in the overtimes plus 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Best performance of a college athlete I've ever seen in person.

In closing - remember this game meant NOTHING! Once Missouri St beat Indiana St. - the teams were playing for the color jersey the will wear on Friday in St. Louis. Yet, they fought it out like an NCAA tournament game. But the win, in my opinion, puts them into the NIT. 20 Wins again. 10 conference wins again. 4th place in the Valley. All huge. What a win....what a game...and we get to do it all again on Friday.

Postseason opportunities: It appears that the NCAA is considering letting the Jays play a game on Tuesday in the Qwest after St. Louis if the schedule calls for it. If the Jays get a Wednesday game however, there is talk of game in the Civic!! 9,000 fans buying first come, first serve tickets. Be on the lookout for that!

What A Season....

I will write a lot more later tonight about the Bluejays win over Bradley last night. But last night's game marked the end of the regular season for the Creighton Bluejays. It's now win or go home time. Where-ever the Jays end up - NIT, CBI, NCAAs...this year was a lot of fun....more fun than last year.

Last year's team was led by 3 players - 3 seniors who you knew what you were going to get. This team was a box of never did know what you were going to get. A crazy dunk, a unreal pass, a stupid foul, a lame effort, an incredible come back, a choking of a lead or a dominating performance - every night it was different.

20-9. 10-8 in the Valley and the post season still to come...the Jays kept their streaks in tact and now it's time to defend the MVC tournament title. Can they? I don't think so...but it's going to fun to watch this team open up a new box of chocolates.

Thanks indeed for the memories....