Alabama-Auburn. South Carolina-Clemson. Virginia-Virgina Tech. Georgia-Georgia Tech. All in state battles that has the focus of all their sports fans for that day....but those are football games. The best rivalry in the state of Nebraska is not in football but rather in basketball. Creighton-Nebraska. The Jays have dominated in recent history winning 8 of last 9 regular season games. CU gets the best players in the state and have the nicest building by far with a huge number of fans filling the Qwest Center for every game (16,100 for Arkansas Pine Bluff!)
All of these rivalries have one thing in common - 1 team believes that they are the big brother to other. Alabama, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia all believe they are always better than their little brothers....but in this rivalry - the big brother is the team with only 7,000 students (Sorry Ryan Anderson, see below). One team plays football and that provides a larger conference to play in.....but over the past 20 years - Creighton Basketball is the better of the 2 programs.
Huskers try to pretend that they don't messure themselves against the Bluejays - but just look at the interest level for this game compared the game vs. St. Louis on Tuesday....not even close.
This is the biggest non-conference game of the year by far. No matter what Slingblade tries to say in the media - this game matters to both sides....A LOT! Too bad that Slingblade's own player's are talking the same way as Ryan Anderson did yesterday: "I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but we're in the Big 12," Anderson said. "You know what I mean? We're in the Big 12. How much more can we prove? What more do we need to prove to people? They're Creighton. They're like the little brother to Nebraska. You know what I mean? They're in Omaha, we're in Lincoln, and we're in the Big 12. You get what I'm saying? You guys have big brothers? So you know what it's like to have a little brother. He wants to out-do you in everything. "It's not like I'm trying to make it seem like they're down to us or anything. You know, a basketball team's a basketball team. But like I said, we're in the Big 12. What more can I say". Too bad he couldn't play for Dana Altman or in front a crowd bigger than 6,000 per home game.
However, tonight at 7 pm in Lincoln - history won't help the Bluejays and Dana Altman. Coming off of a loss to Arkansas Little Rock, the Jays have will to battle a Husker team that is 4-0 on the year and have looked very good at the Devaney Center including a nice win over St. Louis last game.
Last year, the Jays blew the doors off Nebraska - payback for the upset loss the year before in Lincoln. Tonight, the Jays are 3.5 point underdogs and rightfully so. They are soft in everyway you don't want to be. Soft mentally. Soft physically. Soft period. They have been outrebounded in 3 of their 4 games. CU got dominated by Arkansas Little Rock in the 2nd half on Tuesday night godsakes. Eventhough it was just a 2 point loss - P'Allen Stinnet didn't start and then didn't show up and now, has a supposive wrist injury to deal with. There are problems everywhere with injuries to Justin Carter, chemistry with the post players, and offensive flow with guys like P'Allen.
This game to me has nothing to do with Nebraska. It comes down to the lack of consistency for the Jays and a team that is just lost right now. I wouldn't pick them to beat anyone tonight, let alone Nebraska. The Huskers will guard like SIU - in your face, physical, and hack you down. The Jays aren't tough enough to win tonight in Lincoln. The Jays have more talent but it won't matter right now....long season but the Jays will dominate at home this year and again struggle on the road. I still think the Jays have a very good chance of playing in NCAA tournament - remember it's only November. Long way to go to March.
Sorry Jays fans - I just don't see it tonight: NU 68 CU 62