Creighton earns at-large bid to NCAA Tournament, will face NC State in Denver

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 11:57 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (Press Release) - The Creighton men’s basketball team is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the 24th time in program history and eighth time in the past 12 years after earning an at-large bid to 2023 Men’s Basketball Championship.

The sixth-seeded Bluejays (21-12) will meet 11th-seeded NC State (23-10) on Friday, March 17 at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Creighton will play its first game at approximately 3 p.m. Central on TNT, or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Baylor/UCSB game that tips at 12:30 p.m. Central. Creighton’s game is the second contest in Session I.

The Bluejay team gathered at a public viewing party inside D.J. Sokol Arena on the Creighton campus to watch the bracket be unveiled on CBS. Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament with a 21-12 record after finishing in third place in the BIG EAST Conference regular-season standings and falling in the semifinals of the league tournament this past weekend at Madison Square Garden. This year’s club features First Team All-BIG EAST center Ryan Kalkbrenner (15.4 ppg., 6.1 rpg., 2.2 bpg.), a two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and the national leader in field goal percentage (.714). Earning Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST accolades are Baylor Scheierman (12.8 ppg., 8.4 rpg., 77 three-pointers) and Trey Alexander (13.6 ppg., .440 3FG%). Rounding out the Bluejay starting five are Arthur Kaluma (11.9 ppg., 5.9 rpg.) and Ryan Nembhard (11.9 ppg., 4.9 apg.).

Creighton is coached by Greg McDermott, who owns a 297-149 record in 13th year with the Bluejays.

This year marks his 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament at the Division I level, including trips to the third-round in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2021 as Creighton’s coach. McDermott’s eight NCAA Tournament appearances and six NCAA Tournament victories are more than any Bluejay basketball coach in school history.

This year marks Creighton’s 24th postseason bid in the last 26 seasons, which includes 15 NCAA Tournament bids in that span. The Bluejays have won at least one game in 11 of its last 13 postseason appearances. This will be Creighton’s fifth straight trip to the NCAA’s via an at-large bid.

CU is 15-24 all-time in the NCAA Tournament Creighton is 1-1 all-time against the Wolfpack, falling in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu in 1987 before defeating NC State in 2016 at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The winner of Friday’s Creighton/NC State game will meet the winner of the game between third-seeded Baylor and 14th-seeded UC Santa Barbara.