March 4, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Creighton Bluejays forward Doug McDermott (3) receives an award after defeating the Illinois State Redbirds 83-79 in overtime of the finals in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Creighton has a quality resume, a star in Doug McDermott and solid pieces around him.
The Creighton Bluejays were expected to make in the NCAA Tournament even before the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, but there was plenty of debate about just how comfortably they were in. They squashed all of that debate and gave hope to bubble teams everywhere when they ran through the Valley tournament, winning three straight games to capture the conference's automatic bid, and subsequently, a spot in the NCAA Tournament. As the No. 8 seed in the Midwest, they'll face No. 9 Alabama in their first game.
The Jays' only questionable loss is a home defeat to Missouri State. Otherwise, their resume is excellent. They split with the Wichita State Shockers -- the team that won the MVC regular season title -- with both teams surprisingly losing at home. Creighton's other losses were on the road at Northern Iowa and Evansville. They hold quality wins over Iowa, Northwestern and San Diego State in addition to their win over WSU.
Missouri Valley Player of the Year Doug McDermott is the Jays' star, and his ability to score with his back to the basket in the post as well as from behind the arc makes him a matchup nightmare. He's complemented by senior guard Antoine Young and big center Gregory Echenique, who help to make the Jays a balanced team.
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