On day when not one but two number 15 seeds upset number 2 seeds, Creighton managed to escape its 8 vs. 9 match-up against Alabama with a win. Alabama’s stout defense and more deliberate style nearly carried the day. The Bluejays looked rusty and a just a step slow after a nine day lay off from the Missouri Valley Championship game to the NCAA second round opening game. Grant Gibbs played a great game and probably is the single biggest factor in the win. He was able to carry the Jays when they were struggling, hit big shots and move the ball to the open man. Doug McDermott still poured in 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but with the back court struggling to get him the ball consistently, he never really got in the kind of rhythm Jays fans have grown accustomed to seeing.
Creighton now plays on Sunday against number 1 seeded North Carolina. There is no doubt Creighton will need to play better to win that game. But don’t be too surprised to see it happen. It will be fun to watch McDermott match up with high school teammate Harrison Barnes. I am sure they both will be itching to have a good game against the other. Creighton’s guards will have to handle the pressure and physical play of the Tarheels in order for Creighton to have a chance. In a tournament where two 15 seeds have ousted number 2 seeds on the same day nothing would surprise me.