Game #9-503: Drake Bulldogs vs. Creighton BluejaysMarch 8, 2013 1:05 pm
St. Louis, MO
Creighton is so greedy. In a sport that pays its coaches millions and millions of dollars and agrees to enormously expensive television deals with giant conglomerates and networks, it's so greedy for Creighton University to want to make money and move to a better league. It's so greedy for them to do what's best for them, and it's so greedy for them to want to make enough money financially support their non-revenue sports like soccer, tennis, lacrosse, swimming and cross-country (men's and women's).
If you can't tell, I am highly in favor of conference realignment. I don't have a problem with people making money.
When Maryland left the ACC for the Big Ten, I watched the university president give a speech about the move on television, and I came away with a different view of all this. Yes, the move destroyed rivalries with Duke, North Carolina and other schools in the ACC. It destroyed tradition.
But, as the president pointed out in the press conference, the move to the Big Ten would enhance the financial stability of the University of Maryland and restore several sports that had been cut due to budget issues. It would make the athletic department stronger, and it would make Maryland a more attractive place for student-athletes and high school prospects.
Creighton is in the same boat. They have an opportunity to leave the Missouri Valley Conference behind and join the Big East or the Catholic Seven or whatever the heck you want to call it. It will make Creighton University better, so I support it. It might destroy the Valley. It will kill old rivalries. I'm not happy about that, and I'm not happy that Arch Madness will probably never, ever be the same again.
The Bluejays bring half the fans to St. Louis, for god's sake.
But I understand it. You do what's best for you. And so when Creighton dominated Drake in this quarterfinal, it was like the beginning of the end. The Bluejays faithful outnumbered the Bulldogs by about a 200:1 ratio in terms of fan attendance, and I knew we would probably never see that pack of Creighton blue in the Scottrade Center stands ever again.
It's also just the way things work, though.
Creighton would still play two more games in this tournament, but you knew they had one foot out the door. To their credit, none of the other coaches in the Valley seemed to have much of a problem with the realignment rumors. They understand, too. When you live under the Red Line, you start to get cynical. You get realistic about things, and you start to realize that money drives everything.
Coach K and John Thompson III have criticized teams in their leagues for conference realignment. They say Maryland and Syracuse and Pittsburgh and everybody else is just in it for the money, but Duke and Georgetown are fine institutions that care about only the success of student-athletes and preserving tradition.
Translation: nobody wants Duke and Georgetown because they don't make money for football. That's why Kansas had such a problem with Missouri leaving, because nobody wanted Kansas' football program and it had no opportunity to leave. If Duke could make a move to benefit itself financially, it would leave in a heartbeat.
There's no such thing as tradition anymore. Money talks. But is that such a bad thing? If money helps your overall athletic department flourish, then realign the hell out of yourself. Make a new conference if you have to. That's what the Catholic Seven did.
So good luck to the Creighton Bluejays. The Valley will survive without them, and they will survive without the Valley.
Every man for himself.
CREIGHTON 65, DRAKE 53
DRAKE 15-17 (7-11) -- B. Simons 3-9 1-1 8; R. Carter 6-12 1-1 14; S. VanDeest 6-13 1-2 13; C. Hines 2-8 0-0 6; J. Clarke 2-10 2-2 6; J. King 1-4 0-0 2; G. Ricks Jr. 0-1 1-2 1; J. Jeffers 0-1 0-0 0; M. Mason 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 21-60 6-8 53.
CREIGHTON 25-7 (13-5) -- G. Gibbs 2-5 2-3 6; D. McDermott 8-14 4-6 23; A. Chatman 2-6 2-2 6; J. Manigat 0-3 0-0 0; G. Echenique 4-6 3-4 11; A. Dingman 0-3 0-0 0; W. Artino 5-7 4-5 14; E. Wragge 1-3 2-2 5; A. Yates 0-0 0-0 0; T. Stormberg 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-47 17-22 65.
Three-point goals: DRKE 5-17 (C. Hines 2-6; B. Simons 1-3; J. Jeffers 0-1; J. King 0-2; M. Mason 1-1; R. Carter 1-3; G. Ricks Jr. 0-1), CREI 4-16 (G. Gibbs 0-1; E. Wragge 1-3; D. McDermott 3-4; J. Manigat 0-3; A. Chatman 0-2; A. Dingman 0-3); Rebounds: DRKE 24 (J. Clarke 10), CREI 38 (G. Echenique 11); Assists: DRKE 10 (R. Carter 4), CREI 11 (G. Gibbs 8); Total Fouls -- DRKE 19, CREI 14; Fouled Out: DRKE-None; CREI-None.