The No. 4 Villanova Wildcats are seen by many people to be college basketball’s dark horse to win the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Already the Wildcats have wins over the then No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and No. 23 Iowa Hawkeyes; their lone loss being to the still undefeated No. 2 Syracuse Orange. However, a new dark horse for the tournament may have emerged after the Wildcats fell to fellow Big East members, the Creighton Blue Jays.
Creighton controlled Villanova throughout the game. Although the Wildcats’ defense did a good job containing the Blue Jays’ star Doug McDermott at first, Jahenns Maniget and Ethan Wragge put up a combined 46 points before McDermott caught fire and finished with 23. Creighton ended up blowing out Villanova by a final score of 96-68.
I’m not the first to say it, but McDermott deserves the Wooden award. There isn’t a player more consistent and important to a winning team in all of college basketball than he. Don’t get me wrong, there are arguably other college basketball players who are more talented and suited for the NBA than he is. However, if you take into account all of the intangibles that makes a player a Wooden award candidate, he has them.
The Blue Jays have a tough road ahead of them. The Big East is a very difficult conference and, because of that, will help prepare Creighton for their upcoming 2014 NCAA Tournament appearance. Expect big things from a very strong squad; Creighton could be this tournament’s Cinderella team.