Published Monday, March 5, 2012 AT 11:31 AM / Updated at 5:43 PM
Dirk’s Brunch Bites, March 5
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

We’re five days from Selection Sunday, so this is a good time to mention a disclaimer on bracket projections. The NCAA tournament selection process is more art than science. It’s highly subjective. The only opinions that matter are those in the committee room.

I could make a legitimate argument that Creighton deserves to be higher on the board than power-conference teams like Florida and Notre Dame. I could also make a legitimate argument that Creighton deserves to lower than teams like New Mexico, St. Mary’s and Memphis.

Honestly, I think Creighton will be a 6 or 7. But if the committee watched that Wichita State loss closely, it might say, “Gee, look how badly Creighton played against a quality opponent” and give the Jays a 9 or 10 seed. You never know. So take the statements of Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm and Andy Glockner with a grain of salt. Frankly, they don’t matter.

Having said that, the speculation is incredibly entertaining. So I wrote another NCAA tournament column for Monday’s World-Herald. Here are my top four seeds by region if the season ended today (I had a very hard time choosing teams once I reached the No. 4 line):

East (Boston)
Florida State

West (Phoenix)
North Carolina
Ohio State

South (Atlanta)
Michigan State

Midwest (St. Louis)
Wichita State

>> Creighton showed a lot of guts in St. Louis, matching a desperate Illinois State team shot for shot. The Jays continue to play with poise in clutch moments. They continue to hit big shots. But this weekend, they also played defense, which is critical this time of year.

The following is gonna sound like an insult; I don’t mean it that way. But it’s hard to believe Creighton had a four-year NCAA tournament drought.

With its resources and tradition, a finish outside the top-3 in the Valley should be rare. I suppose CU’s dry spell shows how fine a line mid-majors walk in trying to make the NCAAs. It also shows how miserably Dana Altman’s recruiting plan failed his last few years in Omaha.

>> Jason King, one of college basketball’s best scribes, reviews the season. He names Doug McDermott a first-team All-American. No doubt McDermott’s performance Sunday on national TV was a huge boost for his All-American hopes.

>> Really good story by SI’s Luke Winn on Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs.

>> You will never again see Michigan celebrate like this when Ohio State wins a game. It clinched a three-way tie for the Big Ten title. Michigan hasn’t even shared a conference since 1986.

>> Gotta say, I was stunned to see Tiger Woods’ 62 on Sunday. What he did on the final two holes demonstrates that his ceiling is as high as anyone in golf. But did Woods wait too long to figure it out? Rory McIlroy is the new No. 1 and it’s no fluke. Suddenly golf has an opportunity. The rivalry between Woods and Phil Mickelson never materialized because Lefty wasn’t consistent. Maybe McIlroy-Woods is what we’ve been waiting for.

>> I love Darin Erstad’s no-nonsense stance on the Big Ten’s pitch for a summer baseball season. Erstad is essentially saying “excuses are for wimps.” That’s a great message to send publicly. But privately, I hope Erstad is working with Jim Delany and other Big Ten coaches to level the playing field in college baseball. The summer season is too drastic an idea. But if things don’t change when it comes to matters like the RPI, Erstad might be singing a different tune four or five years from now.

>> Sam McKewon wrote about the Husker women and their incredible weekend in Indy. This team continues to exceed expectations.

>> I missed this recently. Baseball America released its top 100 prospects for 2012. You might recognize No. 24.

>> Deron Wiliams had 40 in the second half Sunday? Wow. And that wasn’t even the best point-guard performance of the day. Rajon Rondo had 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists. Maybe Boston shouldn’t trade him after all.

>> Jeremy Lin‘s story has made a big impact on a Chinese-American basketball team in Boston.

>> In Kansas City, they’re celebrating the best college basketball season ever.

>> The biggest challenge in signing Peyton Manning? It might be changing the offense.

>> The next two weeks are gonna be a little hectic in the World-Herald sports department. NCAA tournament berths for the Creighton men and Husker women. A potential coaching change for the Husker men. State boys basketball tournament. Spring football. And, of course, Omaha’s host weekend for the NCAAs.

Thus, the Bites will be a little more spotty than usual. Some good days, some bad. The bright side is there will be plenty of other goodies on and in the newspaper — some of it hopefully written by me — to occupy your time.

About Dirk Chatelain

Dirk Chatelain is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and general assignments. You can follow Dirk on Twitter (@dirkchatelain) or email him at


  1. Sooka says:

    Why do you think KU is a lock #1…………… There were about 3 whistles that gave the game to the Buzzards….
    A Blocking Foul against Moore that was a Blatent Charge……. The Phantom Leg Foul call with 16.1 seconds to go on a made 2 point basket against Dixon to allow KU to tie it up……….and any of 4 or 5 non charge fouls and/or over the back NON CALLS on POY Robinson……

    Wait till the Big 12 Tourney is Decided………..

    One thing for certain………Nebraska has 1 game left…………

    1. Sooka says:

      Had MIZZOU played anywhere other than Allen Field House the Refs may have been neutral as they should have been….It would have been a KU….”L”…………and then to give Self…co Coach of the Year………OMG!!!!

      1. Melvin says:

        KU always chokes in the NCAAs because they aren’t protected by the zebras like they are in the B12.

        1. macjones says:

          There is a certain degree of truth to your statement. But that could be said of Duke or Carolina or anyother Top 25 squad.

          1. John says:

            Except that UNC doesn’t choke in the NCAA tourney with any regularity the way Duke and KU do.

  2. BlueJay says:

    I think Creighton could be a 5 or 6 seed. What matters is who they play. They showed me something in that ISU game.

    The key to remember is that the NCAA’s are one and done. This levels the playing field pressure wise. Creighton needs to play with good intensity on defense.

  3. Hastings Husker says:

    Why does Doc Sadler still have a job?????????????????????

  4. Homer Sampson says:

    Creighton needs to get a little more from that big dude with the hideous shoes. They can shoot it pretty good, and they have a AAA ace, but they will need more from that big guy in the ncaa tourney. Somebody will somehow clamp down on McDermott, and limit him to maybe 18-20 points. The others will need to pick up the slack. Really fun watching them. BTW, I checked out NU men’s RPI. Just behind juggernauts like Stony Brook and American U. Nice.

  5. Drinkin' Wit' Terrell Farley says:

    Rajon Rondo puts up gaudy stats but you must surround him with many shooters, because he is mediocre at best shooting the ball, or Eric Snow at worst, a liability. Manute Bol was a bigger threat from 3 point range. He does a lot of things well, but teams can sag off of him and play passing lanes. It will be interesting to see what happens when Ray Allen retires, there’s a reason Boston is shopping it’s “star PG”.

  6. ajoke says:

    A 5,6, or 7 seed; what a joke. Who did they beat all season? A bunch of teams (other then Wichita St) that were barely over 500. It’s the MVC and your Creighton. You’re not Duke, you’re not North Carolina, you’re a Creighton team that plays in a weak conference.

    1. Greg says:

      You sound like a bitter husker hoops fan with an inferiority complex. Meaningful basketball in March (and February too!) is awesome. You should try it sometime.

    2. Kevin says:

      Blah, blah, blah, blah…. Creighton can’t play defense….blah, blah, blah, blah… the Missouri Valley stinks… blah, blah, blah, blah…only major conferences have good basketball teams….blah, blah, blah, blah…Creighton has no athletes…there is no basketball talent in Nebraska….CU fans are there just for the beer…blah, blah, blah, blah… (get over it!)

    3. Tony says:

      If they were Duke or North Carolina they would be a number one or two seed. That’s why they will be a 5 or 6 seed.Thank you for trying to share your basketball knowledge, though.

    4. Mike Caramba says:

      They beat San Diego State and Wichita State, both ranked teams, on the road. They beat Long Beach State. They’re undefeated in the Big Ten (3-0). And they won their conference tourney. 5 might be high, but 6 or 7 seems totally reasonable to me.

  7. Donb0007 says:

    there’s a reason Boston is shopping it’s “star PG”.

    Rocket scientist …he’s the only one on his team that is Young and Talented enough to get a good “trade value”….dah…teams know better than sagging of him won’t work it just allows him to dribble to were he wants and see the court better….can you watch some games and learn something about the sport before you make stupid comments

    1. Drinkin' Wit' Terrell Farley says:

      Before you insult me, you might want to figure how the reply button works. Trade value for what? Rondo needs the right environment around him to excel, for example he would be awful in New York playing for the Knicks in D’antoni’s offense because they need a point guard that is a threat to shoot. You need a shooting guard with 3 point range to have Rondo as your point guard, otherwise they will dare him to shoot and close off passing lanes and it will end badly. He can dribble all he wants and if he has no one to pass to or an open lane to drive, Rondo is toast. Much like Jason Kidd, who Rondo can aspire to, as another below average shooting point guard who managed to carve out a hall of fame career with good defense, exceptional vision and being a heady rebounder. However, if I’m counting on my point guard to rebound, I’m in big trouble before I get started.

      I’d much rather have Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, and Derrick Rose for starters ahead of Rajon Rondo, probably Russell Westbrook as well now that I think about it. Rondo is headed for a hard fall once the shooting talent evaporates around him.

  8. OldGold says:

    Creighton has not yet played up its potential because Ethan Wragge is way over due for a big game. Six seed or lower, they will have to shoot the lights out to make the Sweet 16. They are too little and too slow to try and muscle a larger more athletic team. It’s possible that they might go deep in the NCAA, but not likely.. Next year should be a different story and, if everyone stays healthy (they are all pretty good students), Creighton could be a final four team.

  9. Darin says:

    Mr. Chat, there are no “bad days” of bites. Keep doing work !

  10. Melvin says:

    Quit wasting your time guessing the NCAA seedings and that should free up some of your time, Dirk.

    1. macjones says:

      I agree, because Dirk and the VAST MAJORITY of Lil’ Herbie small town/suburban PEASANTS ain’t exactly major college basketball SAVY. If U know what I mean.

      In other words, the ELFISH dirk and his Lil’ Herbie syncophants should absolutely stick to what they have knowledge of, that be Lil’ Herbie PIGSKIN sports. dUh.