Sunday, March 18, 2012 ● 5:15 pm (EST)
Bluejays (29-5) vs. #4 North Carolina Tar Heels (30-5)
N.C. ● Greensboro Coliseum • CBS
is now 10-17 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 7-10 mark in its
win on Friday was its first NCAA Tournament win since March 15, 2002.
is looking to win consecutive NCAA Tournament games for the first time in
is looking to become the first MVC team to reach the Sweet 16 since
Northern Iowa did so in 2010 (by knocking off No. 1 seed Kansas).
has tied a school record with 29 wins, set by the 2002-03 team, which
finished 29-5. That team was bounced in the first round of the NCAA
Tournament by Central Michigan.
1994, the MVC has sent eight teams to the Sweet 16 (Tulsa 1994, 1995;
Missouri State 1999; Southern Illinois 2002, 2007; Bradley 2006; Wichita
State 2006; Northern Iowa 2010).
is one of seven schools in the NCAA with multiple postseason wins in each
of the past two seasons (Butler, Creighton, Duke, Kentucky, North
Carolina, Ohio State, VCU). All but Duke won their first postseason game
this season as well.
to this season, 10 No. 8 Seeds have made the Sweet 16 since 1985, most
recently Butler last year.
been a basketball hotbed for years, but it’s safe to say no day has been
bigger than Sunday. In addition to the CU game vs. North Carolina at 5:15
pm Eastern on Sunday, the Bluejay women play Saint John’s at 5:05 pm
Eastern on Sunday in Norman, Okla., for its first NCAA Tournament game in
10 years. And if that wasn’t enough, Creighton is also the host
institution for the 2nd/3rd-round games in Omaha
this weekend. Florida faces Norfolk State at 6:10 pm Eastern, followed by
a game between Purdue and Kansas.
win on Friday improved the MVC to 6-3 against the SEC in NCAA Tournament
play since 1994. In that same span, the MVC is 1-3 versus the ACC in the
Big Dance, with Southern Illinois defeating Virginia Tech in the round of
32 in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
leads the country in field goal percentage (.507), and also tops all
remaining NCAA Tournament teams in assists per game (17.8). In addition,
Doug McDermott leads the country’s NCAA Tournament players with 23.0
points per game, just ahead of fellow Greensboro participant C.J. McCollum
Creighton-North Carolina game features the nation’s two-highest remaining
scoring teams in the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina ranks second nationally with 81.8 points
per game, while Creighton is ninth at 79.4 points per game. It’s worth
noting that Creighton has won its last 54 games when scoring 90 points or
more, a streak that dates to January of 1988.
entered the NCAA Tournament shooting 50.9 percent on the season. Since
2005-06, teams that have shot 50.8 percent or better are 18-4 in the NCAA
Tournament, including two national titles (Florida in 2007, Kansas in
is 4-0 against teams from the “BCS” conferences this season, including
three wins over the Big Ten (Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern) and one over
the SEC (Alabama).
schools are 1-7 all-time against No. 1 seeds. In 2010, Northern Iowa beat
top-seeded Kansas, 69-67.
Bluejays have not faced a team from the ACC since losing to Miami 53-52 in
the second round of the NIT on March 20, 2006 in Omaha.
is 0-2 against the ACC in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Maryland in the
second round in 1999 and falling to the Terrapins in the first round in
is 0-2 all-time against North Carolina;
L, 64-72, Dec. 19, 1960 in Omaha
L, 86-106, Dec. 12, 1970 in West Palm Beach, Fla.,
at Gold Coast Classic
is 1-9 against the ACC all-time with its only win coming against Clemson,
87-67, in Omaha on Dec. 15, 1962.
(Creighton owns wins over Virginia Tech, Florida State, Miami and
Boston College when the teams were not members of the ACC)
highest-ranked team Creighton owns a victory over is No. 4 Arizona State,
defeating the Sun Devils 84-83 on Dec. 13, 1963. (UNC is ranked No. 4 in
this week’s AP poll).
has lost nine straight games to AP top 25 teams since a 67-61 win over No.
11 Southern Illinois on March 4, 2007 in the MVC Tournament title game.
has lost 20 straight games to teams ranked in the AP top-10, since a 75-69
win over No. 6 Marquette on Feb. 9, 1974.
game against UNC will mark the first time a ranked Creighton team will
play a top 25 team since losing at No. 19 Xavier 75-73 on Dec. 31, 2002,
when the Bluejays were ranked 15th.
Bluejays are 1-4 against ranked team while the Bluejays are a ranked
team. The only victory was an
80-74 win over #16 Louisville in an NCAA consolation game on March 16,
is now 50-17 as a ranked team.
has won eight straight games. On a national basis, only Lehigh (9) has a
longer streak, while Murray State and Norfolk State also have eight
23 points in the first half on Friday against Alabama were its fewest
points scored in a half this season. (Previous low was 26 against
Evansville on Feb. 7)
five free throws made against Alabama were its fewest makes in a game this
season. (previous low was six at Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 10). Creighton’s
38.5 free throw percentage against Alabama on Friday was its lowest of the
season (previous low was .519 vs. Campbell on Nov. 25.
has set a school record for points scored in a season, with 2,699 points
this year. The former record
of 2,688 points was set by the 29-win 2002-03 team.
is 4-0 in one-point games this year and 6-0 in games decided by two points or less, following its
58-57 win over Alabama on Friday
one-point margin of victory is Creighton’s most common margin of victory
this year, having done so four times. The second most common margin of victory for Creighton
is 19 points (3-0).
overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat Alabama. It has now overcome
double-digit deficits for a victory six times this season (at San Diego
State, at Wichita State, vs. Northern Iowa, vs. Evansville, vs. Drake, vs.
Alabama). All six of those teams made the postseason.
has won eight straight games, including six away from Omaha. Creighton now has a school-record
15 wins outside of Omaha (road/neutral combined).
last seven wins have come by a combined 44 points, including three
one-point wins, a two-point win and a four-point overtime win.
its win over Alabama, Creighton improved to 8-4 on the season when
trailing at halftime this year.
which improved to 5-0 on Friday’s this year, is 5-0 on Sundays this year.
winner of the Creighton-North Carolina game will advance to play the winner
of Sunday’s South Florida-Ohio game being contested in Nashville. That
Regional semifinal would take place on Friday in St. Louis, Mo., the same
city where Creighton won an MVC Tournament two weeks ago and sold a league
record 2,575 all-session Tournament tickets.
and North Carolina have two common opponents this season – Long Beach
State and Evansville.
Creighton went 3-1 against those teams (2-1 vs. UE, 1-0 vs. LBSU).
UNC beat both teams once.
has a few connections with North Carolina:
Creighton sophomore Doug McDermott and UNC sophomore Harrison Barnes played together at
Ames (Iowa) High School, leading their teams to consecutive state championships
during their junior and senior campaigns, winning 53 straight games during that
span. McDermott spent most of his junior year coming off the bench, yet still
earned second-team all-state accolades before ascending to the starting five
for his senior campaign.
men’s soccer coach Elmar Bolowich
finished his first season with the Bluejays in December of 2011. Bolowich came to Creighton after
serving as head coach at North Carolina for 22 seasons. Bolowich is the winningest head
coach in UNC soccer history, leading UNC to the 2001 NCAA title and the
College Cup (Final Four) in 2008, 2009 and 2010 before leading Creighton
to the College Cup in 2011.
Greg McDermott discussed following
Friday’s win, few could have predicted how the paths of Doug McDermott and Harrison Barnes have
crossed. Barnes was the first freshman ever named a preseason All-American,
while serious consideration was given to redshirting Doug McDermott before injuries last season to two other Bluejay
forwards (current teammate Ethan Wragge
and graduated senior Casey Harriman).
coach Greg McDermott is now 1-3
in the NCAA Tournament, 1-0 as Creighton’s head coach after losing all
three of his appearances with Northern Iowa.
- A win
on Sunday would make Creighton the sixth team in MVC history to win 30+
games in a season. Indiana State’s 1979 team owns the record with 33 wins,
while the last team to do it was the 2010 Northern Iowa team. Current
Creighton head coach Greg McDermott
recruited several members of that team, including starting center Jordan
Eglseder and starting point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe.
coach Greg McDermott is now
52-21 in two seasons as Creighton’s head coach. It’s the most wins by a
Missouri Valley Conference coach in his first two seasons at an MVC school
since Cincinnati’s Ed Jucker from 1960-62, when Jucker won 56 games (and
national titles both seasons).
coach Greg McDermott is 0-2 as
a head coach against teams from the ACC, falling to Duke while at Iowa
State and losing to Georgia Tech while at Northern Iowa in an NCAA
four NCAA games Greg McDermott
has coached in have been decided by five or fewer points. Each of his first three games were
5-point losses, before Creighton delivered a one-point win on Friday.
- Greg McDermott is
7-23 in his career against ranked teams, but 6-4 when head coach of a MVC
team versus ranked opponents.
is 18-117 all-time against team ranked in the Associated Press poll,
including 0-1 under Greg McDermott (#21 BYU, Dec. 1, 2010).
assistant coach Steve Merfeld
is no longer the last head coach to lead a No. 15 seed to a win over a No.
2 seed. Merfeld was the head
coach at Hampton, when his 15th-seeded Pirates knocked off
second-seeded Iowa State in 2001.
His Hampton team was the last No. 15 seed to win a game in the NCAA
Tournament before two No. 15 seeds turned the trick on Friday (Lehigh in
Greensboro, Norfolk State in Omaha).
is now 5-0 on neutral floors this year; Friday’s win over Alabama, 3-0 at
the MVC Tournament in St. Louis and a win over Iowa in Des Moines in
marked the first time all season that Creighton won a game with a worse
field goal percentage than its opponent. Creighton is
- Doug McDermott
recorded his team-leading 11th double-double of the season on
Friday, the 20th double-double of his career, leading the team
with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Alabama.
- Doug McDermott has
made 299 field goals this year, just four shy of Bob Portman’s single-season school-record 303 set in 1967-78.
McDermott’s 299 field goals this year far outdistance second-place Kevin
Jones’ 260 for West Virginia this fall.
- Doug McDermott has
now scored 781 points this season, adding to his school record and moving
up the MVC single-season scoring charts. He now ranks 12th on the MVC single-season
scoring list, seven points shy of the top-10 which currently features
Hersey Hawkins, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Xavier McDaniel and Lewis
- Doug McDermott also
moved into the Creighton career top-15, as his 1,362 career points rank 15th
in school history, moving past Duan
Cole (1,361) on the list. Just a sophomore, he’s just 754 points away
from CU’s career record of 2,116 points held by Rodney Buford.
- Doug McDermott’s
1,362 career points are the most by any college player in his first two
seasons since Davidson’s Stephen Curry from 2006-08. A North Carolina
native, Curry had 1,661 points in his first two years with the Wildcats
and led his team to the Elite 8 as a sophomore, including a 41 point
effort in Greensboro against UNC Greensboro. Curry scored 94 points in
three career college games in Greensboro.
season Doug McDermott joined
Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant as the only freshmen since 2002-03 with
at least 581 points, 280 rebounds and 47 or more three-point baskets. McDermott,
who has already reached those milestones in points and three-pointers,
enters Sunday’s game with 279 rebounds this year. No player nationally
since 1996-97 has done it as both a freshman and sophomore. In fact, the
only player (of any year) to do it twice was former Duke forward Kyle
Singler, who did it in both 2008-09 and 2009-10.
- Gregory Echenique now
has 55 blocked shots on the season, tying his 2010-11 season total, which
is also tied for 10th in single-season school history. He’s led
the MVC in blocked shots each of the last two seasons.
- Gregory Echenique
surpassed 1,000 career points in Creighton’s win over Alabama. Echenique has now scored 1,003
points in his collegiate career (645 at Creighton, 358 at Rutgers).
- Antoine Young
surpassed 500 career assists on Friday, as he led the team with five
helpers. Young now has 501
career assists, one of only three players in school history to reach 500.