March 4, 2013
It's only fitting that star junior Doug McDermott would go for a season-high 41 points in Creighton's 91-80 win over Wichita State Saturday in Omaha, Neb. It was, after all, a winner-take-all game for the Missouri Valley's regular season title.
With the win, Creighton secures its first conference title since 2001. The Bluejays will now have the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament in St. Louis.
McDermott reached the 30-point plateau for the seventh time, this coming on Senior Day in a year that could be his last at the collegiate level if he chooses to turn pro. Not only were his number gaudy on Saturday, but it's difficult to find a more efficient stat line for a player who scored 41 points. McDermott was 15-of-18 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from three-point range and adding six rebounds.
The offensive efficiency for Creighton began with McDemott, but didn't end there.
As a team, the Bluejays shot 70 percent from the floor, 52 percent from three-point range, and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line. By hitting so many shots, it really gave Wichita State no chance to work its way back.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Missouri Valley tournament should be just as crazy and unpredictable as the regular season was. Remember the regular season? When the same offensive juggernaut that was Creighton Saturday lost three straight? Or when Wichita State did the same? Or when Indiana State or Northern Iowa looked like the team to watch out for in the conference?
The biggest worry, especially for high-major bubble teams, will be if we have some upsets in St. Louis and someone other than Wichita State or Creighton takes home the MVC tournament title and punches its ticket to the Big Dance. Then we'll be popping some bubbles.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John's. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_