Over the years, the landscape of college basketball has changed. Because the top schools in the country lose talent to the NBA after a year or two, the mid-majors have emerged as forces to be reckoned with.
Of all the mid-major teams in the nation this season, the one to keep an eye on is the Creighton Bluejays. This could be their year they make deafening noise in the NCAA tournament, perhaps even going as far as the Final Four in Atlanta.
It sounds crazy to some, but it’s not a far-fetched possibility by any stretch of the imagination.
Creighton is a Top 25 team and the sting of a NCAA tournament loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels is still fresh in its mind. It will serve as added motivation for the Bluejays as they prepare for what could very well be a special season.
Creighton was 29-6 a year ago and finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bluejays return four starters from that team, including the most proven star in Doug McDermott, the son of Creighton head coach Greg McDermott.
The junior forward clicked for a cool 22.9 points per outing last season and also pulled down 8.2 rebounds per game. He was an All-American and enters this season as a legit candidate for national player of the year honors.
He spent part of his summer at elite camps to improve his all-around game. He also got a break late in the summer as his dad made him take a six-week break to ensure that he would be well-rested for the grind of a long season.
If McDermott has the season everyone is expecting from him, the Bluejays won’t have to worry about an early exit from the NCAA tournament.
Instead, they will be the team no one wants to run into come March.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.