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!


Bill Brasky said...

Even in a win you complain about officials. You Jays fans are amazing...and that's not a compliment.

It sounded like a great game. How about just enjoying the win and not throwing in shots at the refs?

I can only imagine if the Jays would've lost. All we would be hearing about is how the refs screwed us again.

Red Sox Fan said...

If you were there, you would understand why we are talking about the refs...they were horrible. Both sides agree on that point....

SpinSports590 said...

Why no mention of how St. Joe's is a bigger win than Oregon?

sublime_fan27 said...

You want to see bad officiating....come to the Big 12 and watch some games. Lord knows we have had games taken from us. Big 12 protects seeds for the top schools. If your not a top seed, you're going to get it and you're going to get it bad.

mattiscool said...

Why is it that the Huskers play teams I have heard of and the Jays play teams that I have never heard of?

Kind of weird

Trifecta said...

Hmm why is it that Husker fans have such an inferority complex that they absolutely must comment on something that has nothing to do with them, or rather everything that has to do with Creighton?

I'm sorry the Huskers only play (aka lose) to teams you've heard of? It must be hard to lose to basketball "powerhouses" like Iowa St., Colorado, and Missouri huh? I'm surprised you haven't heard of the Jays opponents, considering the MVC has usually been equal to or better than the Big 12 as a conference the past few years.

Haven't heard of Bradley huh? The team the blew by your best team KU a few years ago. Or SIU, the team that KU squeaked by? Curious...

Aric said...


- demanding of exclusive loyalty or adherence

- hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage

- bitter and unhappy because of another's advantages, possessions, or luck

- possessively watchful of something

- envious or suspicious resentment, as of another's success, good fortune, or good qualities

- See Husker fan

You guys always amaze me. Anything Creighton related, you must comment on. Creighton's success and ownage of this state must really drive you guys insane.

Good luck in the CBI.

sublime_fan27 said...

If you really believe that the MVC has been better than or equal to the Big 12 the past few years then you are an idiot.

It's great to be a Husker fan. We have won football championships and volleyball championships. We have very good baseball and wrestling programs. While our Husker basketball team has not done a whole lot over the years, it's still great to watch us compete in the Big 8/Big 12 every year, even if we don't do so hot. Still great to be a Husker fan though.

Andrew said...

"considering the MVC has usually been equal to or better than the Big 12 as a conference the past few years."

Are you serious with that statement?

Aric said...

Look it up...In the past two years, the MVC was #5 in the RPI, while the Big 12 was #6. Last year, the Big 12 was #5 and the MVC was #6. You guys need a severe lesson in college basketball knowledge. During the same period, do I dare any of you to compare conference success in the tournament? What about head to head records of MVC schools vs. Big XII schools? Get your hanky ready.

None of this matters though, right? The MVC and especially Creighton has found the secret formula for cracking the RPI code. The whole thing is a sham, right? It is a huge conspiracy that only the MVC can seem to inflict and no one else can figure out.

You may want to look up the facts before you open your trap; it makes you look stupid and is just more evidence that Nebraska fans don't know squat about college basketball.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Aric...just do the Big 12 and MVC compare THIS year.

oh, thats right...

Big 12 - #2
MVC - #8

and besides that 2 year period, there is really nothing even close between the two conferences until 1999 when the MVC was 8 and Big 12 was 7.

So that means in the last 10 years, the MVC has been better than the Big 12, ONE time.

Yep, the MVC is consistently just awesome.

Aric said...

Nobody is denying that MVC is having a rebuilding year. I am just pointing out how quickly people forget about certain things just to pump a false agenda. There isn't the huge separation between the two leagues like you think there is. Outside of Kansas and Texas, the Big XII is a huge group of mediocre teams cannibalizing each other (much like the MVC). The only difference is (which shows up in the RPI) is that the mediocre pack in the Big XII has played a tougher non-con schedule which has boosted their RPI's.

Here is the other issue I have a problem with (specifically with Husker fans). Just because you play in the Big XII doesn't mean you are on equal terms with the powerhouses within your league. You can't judge programs by the conferences they play in. If that's the case, you wouldn't have the Gonzaga's, Butler's, St. Mary's, Kent State's, etc of the world. Mid-major conferences can have major PROGRAMS, likewise major conferences can have mid-major programs. You can't sit here and tell me that Colorado, Northwestern, Nebraska, St. John's, and others are major programs because they play in major conferences; while Southern Illinois, Creighton, Gonzaga, Butler, yada, yada, who have had sustained success for more than a decade are mid-major.

This is the problem, you guys are riding the coattails of the successful programs within your conference. The Big XII is a terrific conference, but the argument you are trying to present is void because it's coming from Nebraska, who is the second worst major college basketball program in the NCAA (in terms of NCAA appearances and success, or lack thereof).

Andrew said...

From trifecta:

"Haven't heard of Bradley huh? The team the blew by your best team KU a few years ago. Or SIU, the team that KU squeaked by? Curious..."

From Aric:

"This is the problem, you guys are riding the coattails of the successful programs within your conference."

Just sayin.

johnny drama said...

Just because fans in Nebraska are saying that the Big 12 is better it is void? Why does that matter where someone says it from. It is true from any state in the country.
Then you come back with your "look it up" comment and think you are the schwab with your "knowledge" and then throw out stats over a TWO year period where the MVC was better one year RPI wise. With all of your statistical information you then seem to be a professor of basketball knowledge and claiming who knows what. After all of that you DARE to compare success in the tournament.
In your next post you talk about major programs that play in mid-major conference I agree that can happen, but you list St. Marys along with Gonzaga, Butler, and Kent State. The latter 3 teams I can understand because they have recently dominated their conferences and had tournament success. St Mary's is good this year but how do you figure they are a mid-major power.
I don't think that Nebraska is a powerhouse with Kansas and Texas but I do realize that the Big 12 is a better conference and that is the argument. The MVC is a good conference but not a better one.
I think you need the lesson in basketball knowledge but I am saying that from Nebraska so it probably won't matter.

chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chris said...

"During the same period, do I dare any of you to compare conference success in the tournament? "

Since 2003, NCAA Tournament wins..
Big XII: 40
MVC: 7

All-time, the current active members of the MVC have 38 wins, combined, all of them.

The Big XII and MVC have faced off head to head twice in the last 5 years, going 1-1, wow, that's just amazing. You're right, needed my hanky.

The only year that the MVC and Big XII are comparable is in 2006 when both conferences won 4 games each. The MVC also got 4 bids that year, but Creighton WASN'T one of them - they made the NIT, just like Nebraska did that season.

What this has to do with Matt's post on the Creighton/Bradley game, I don't know...

sublime_fan27 said...

Aric, you want to know what’s really funny.

Nebraska, despite being the “second worst major college basketball program in the NCAA”, leads the all-time record against Creighton, a “powerful mid-major”, 23-18.

On top of that, the only reason that the record is even remotely close is the fact that Barry Collier recruited so poorly that his athletes made Evansville look like an NBA All-Star roster.

Basically, what you’re saying, is that Nebraska is the 2nd worst program in NCAA history but still has total ownage over a great mid-major such as Creighton.


celticpride said...

"while Southern Illinois, Creighton, Gonzaga, Butler, yada, yada, who have had sustained success for more than a decade"

please tell me this guy did not just put Creighton in the same grouping as Gonzaga and Butler. I've seen it all now. Creighton went 10-8 in a DOWN year for the MVC. Next time Butler or Gonzaga's going better than .500 in conference comes down to the final conference regular season game, let me know.

Since BlueJays love to talk about RPI so much, let's look at realtime:
Quality wins: 4
Bad losses: 2 (one of them rated as a double bad loss)

Quality wins: 7
Bad losses: 2

don geevafuc said...

what you nebraska fans and big XII fans don't realize is that these creighton fans are very proud of their program. they feel a deep pride in their team for consistently winning 20 games and 10 conference games each season. they can and should feel very proud of that accomplishment. we need to realize that they don't recognize how average their accomplishments are, we need to be patient with them. dana has won almost 65% of his games throughout his division one career and in his years at creighton. that will get you about 20 wins a year, just enough to feel good but not make the tournament or.......make the tournament and catch the red-eye that night to be back in omaha and feel good about just making it. as for winning 10 conference games each season......the MVC teams play 18 games in conference so winning 10 games means they go 1 game over being .500 for the conference season. that doesn't really blow me away but creighton fans seem to be very proud of it so let's just let them carry on. the big XII is obviously a far superior league, looking at conference RPI standings will not tell the story, RPI is a junk measuring stick. as for the valley versus the big XII, KU had a team of freshmen, looked horrible for most of the pre-conference season, got very hot and were way over-seeded when they met up with a very experienced and mature bradley team. congrats to bradley, very nice win. one very nice win. end of story. big XII is obviously better than the missouri valley, the proof is in the trivial and uninspiring stats creighton fans always toss around. 65% winning percentage, 20 wins, 10 conference wins. wow. considering 6 to eight of those wins would be coming from teams like indiana state, evansville, drake (when they are down which is almost all the time) it doesn't do much for me.

Aric said...

don geevafuc:

At least we have something to proud about. Again, coming from a Nebraska fan, that's comical. Look up the history of both programs and NCAA success...How many NCAA tournament wins does CU have? We all know how many Nebraska has, ahem.

Come back when you have a leg to stand on. The Big XII is a very successful conference, too bad Nebraska has had no part in making it so.

You can't argue with irrational people. I will leave you with your delusions of grandeur.

Aric said...

Also, your RPI theory is hilarious. You guys thump your chests about the Big XII RPI, but you discredit it when the MVC was ahead of the Big XII, convenient.

Is it safe to say that you praise the RPI when it suits your needs and bash it when it doesn't?

Thanks for the laughs fellas, I have better things to do than argue with a bunch of obsessed, double-digit IQer's. Enjoy your moral victories!

sublime_fan27 said...

You know it’s funny…Aric had no response to my question, which was no doubt his intention because he couldn’t contemplate a rational rebuttal. He calls Nebraska the worst BCS basketball team in NCAA History….yet he pretends that Nebraska doesn’t absolutely own the series record against Creighton.

I don’t know how we have nothing to be proud of as Nebraska fans. We Nebraska fans have experienced numerous national titles in a couple of different sports. Not sure Creighton fans have actually experienced the nirvana that a national championship can bring…but I’m sure winning the Missouri River, or whatever your little conference is called, is a close 2nd.

The Realest said...

I just don't understand why there is so much animosity towards either program. The truth is between the two, Nebraska plays the tougher competition in their conference. Actually this year there is no comparison between the two conferences. If you took the top five teams in each conference and placed them against each other there would be a slaughtering. For anyone to compare MVC to Big 12, is comical.

I have two questions.
1) Has there ever been a MVC national champion?

2) Has a MVC team ever played in the championship game? Or even a final 4 game?

I'm not going to look it up, but I have a feeling the answer is no to both.

don geevafuc said...

aric, i believe i said the RPI is a "junk measuring stick". i never referenced the RPI in a positive manner to boost my argument. i also never said i was a nebraska fan, did i? maybe guys like yourself with triple digit IQ's are able to intuit such information but i never stated that i was a husker fan. i graduated from the university of Kansas so, knowing myself almost as well as you seem to, i am a devoted fan of KU. i liked your response though, way off base, reactionary, bereft of substance and you even managed to reference creighton's tournament success. i will be laughing myself silly if nebraska beats creighton in the NIT this year.