Today, Creighton Athletics released the 2008-09 Men’s Basketball Schedule. No real surprises from what has been talked about all summer. The Jays get their annual matchup with Nebraska on November 29th where it seems this matchup is starting to be a Thanksgiving tradition as it is the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the past two seasons.
There is an A-10 buffet as the Jays have their matchups at home against Dayton, on the road at St. Joseph and the possible matchup with St. Louis in the Las Vegas Classic.
It seems as though the Jays get a yearly matchup with Fresno St. as this is the 5th matchup in seven years with the dogs. (Though most thanks to the Bracketbuster series). Speaking of the Bracketbusters, Oral Roberts comes to Omaha as a return game from last year’s Bracketbusters game and once again the Jays are part of the Bracketbusters series in February as a home team.
Game two of three in a series with Arkansas-Little Rock occurs in Little Rock this year with game three in Omaha in the 2009-10 season. A newcomer to play the Jays is Steve Alford’s New Mexico team to kick off the season in Omaha with a return game at New Mexico in 2009-10. I guess I would have never expected to see Dana Altman and Steve Alford agree to play against each other, especially how reluctant he was when he was at Iowa.
Of course, no surprise comes here when it came to the two “open” slots known on the schedule which was filled with SWAC teams Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State that love the guarantee games. Arkansas-Pine Bluff has become a regular on the schedule playing Creighton in Omaha 4 of the past 5 seasons. Mississippi Valley State is starting to become a regular with the third straight season on the schedule.
There is the always tough conference schedule where everyone cannibalizes each other. However, it looks pretty spread out and even for the most part where there really aren’t games with teams that are essentially back to back like they were with Drake last year as an example.
Overall, other than Nebraska and possibly Depaul, there is not a team from a “BCS” conference on the schedule. This is very disappointing. With ticket prices and donation requirements increasing this year on season tickets, there really hasn’t been an upgrade on the home or even the road schedule. It looks like the same opponents, different year. Even the exempt tournament isn’t at the level as what was possible last year when we backed out of the event that included Louisville, BYU and North Carolina. I guess with this schedule it is the “put up or shut up” time. If the talent is there, it should show with most of the scoring and rebounding coming back. However the non-conference season might not show the true colors and we’ll have to rely on the conference season to put the Jays into the NCAA Tournament again.