Friday, February 10, 2012

No Missouri Valley Game Can Ever Be the "Most Important" Game in Omaha

Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World-Herald had yet another mental misfire in his "Brunch Bites" today.
But first, the big event of the weekend: Creighton-Wichita State, for all the Missouri Valley marbles. The CenturyLink Center has hosted a few big games since it opened in 2003, but this might be the most important.
Most important game for the Creighton basketball program?  Perhaps.  I'm not going there, as I'm not a Creighton fan.  Not my call, though I don't think there were many games in the Rick Johnson era bigger than this.  Just wild speculation on my part, though.  I could be wrong.

But the most important game at the CenturyLink Center, nee Qwest Center?  Not even close.  Heck, it almost assuredly isn't even in the top five.  Here's number one in my book:  the 2008 NCAA tournament first round game between Southern Cal and Kansas State.  Two marquee freshman, O.J. Mayo and Michael Beasley, starring in prime time as the lead game on CBS.  Even the Song Girls were in town for this one.  Southern Cal went on defeat the Wildcats 80-67 in that game.

Creighton-Wichita State?  Well, it's big for Creighton fans, I guess.  (Though I doubt that this is the biggest game for Brie fans.  After all, that Mayo/Beasley matchup in combination with Kansas in town meant a huge payday for Creighton fans scalping their ill-gotten basketball tickets.)  But that assertion is proof once again that Chatelain is simply bad at analysis.  Oh sure, he can work his calculator and put together some statistics...but they rarely connect to explain the situation.  Today he used someone else's statistics to tell us something we already know:  this is Doc Sadler's worst team at Nebraska.  (No duh...)

What's surprising is that Chatelain's normally level-headed fellow writer Sam McKewon jumped on the bandwagon.  Maybe the World-Herald is encouraging their staff to cross-promote, but even so, it reflects badly on McKewon to propagate a bad article.  In fact, judging from Twitter, it seems like KOZN's Matt Schick and Nick Bahe have joined in the cross promotion.  That's unfortunate as it seems cronyism and corporate alliances, not merit of the argument, is driving the conversation.

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