Welcome to the latest installment of #ThoughtTrainThursday. Today I cling to hope that Creighton can get out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, laugh at Nebrasketball, reminisce on some of my not so bright moments, and build excitement for baseball season. Let’s get to it, we’ve got basketball to get back to watching.

Lead With Creed 

With the NCAA Tournament in full swing, the band edges out my favorite office character in this week’s ‘lead with creed’. My sacrifice is missing the four games that are happening right now to write this blog. What’s yours?

Is Creighton Still a Final Four Team? 

Probably not, but a man can dream. More improbable runs have happened than a team who was ranked for the majority of the year stringing together a few wins come tournament time. I will be $50 richer if Creighton makes it further into the tournament than Iowa State, so why not pencil them in to win a few more games than anticipated? If Stephen Curry thinks the Bluejays have what it takes to make it to the Elite 8, I’ll raise him one and go a game further.

First comes tomorrow afternoon’s tipoff against Rhode Island. I know nothing about the University of Rhode Island other than that their mascot is a Ram (that’s what majoring in College Mascots in NCAA Football Road to Glory Mode does for you) and what I’ve read in B-Frank’s Bubble Watches. I do not feel confident saying that will be an easy win given Creighton’s struggles to get out of the first weekend of the tournament, but the Jays will squeak by.

Next (presumably) would be a matchup with former Creighton headman Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks. Since the Ducks are down a big man and I grew up hating Dana Altman – a story for another day – I will of course choose Creighton. Khyri Thomas will lock down Dillon Brooks and Creighton will shoot nearly sixty percent en route to an upset that much of the country would not have predicted. Sweet, sweet revenge.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Louisville is the 2 seed in the Midwest region, but I, along with others, are not very high on the Cardinals. Many bracketologists believe that Oregon is truly deserving of that two seed, which would drop Louisville to the three that Oregon holds currently. Regardless, the way I see it playing out Pitino’s squad will have to face off with a red-hot Michigan Wolverines team. A team or two per year that unexpectedly run the table in their conference tournament can knock off heavily-favored teams. This is the matchup I see that happening in, leaving Creighton to face a Michigan team that surpassed all expectations in the Sweet 16. Michigan’s luck will run out against the Bluejays, you heard it here.

If the Midwest shakes out with a Creighton vs. Iowa State (another hot team as of late) Elite 8, the Bluejays would be all but a shoo-in. I want my money. Iowa State has beat Kansas this year already, and if Monte Morris outplays Frank Mason the Cyclones will find themselves in a second consecutive battle of the birds. Should the Jayhawks reign supreme, Creighton will need 20 point games from both Justin Patton and Marcus Foster, as well as lights-out shooting from Cole Huff to knock the Jayhawks off and reach the first Final Four in the school’s history.

It’s called Madness for a reason. Should the Bluejays make this improbable run, I will be making the trip to Phoenix. That’s the Wop guarantee.

Another Opportunity to Bash Nebraska 

This just warms my heart. As the son of two Iowa grads and a graduate of Creighton, I will take every chance I get to put down the Huskers. I was in attendance at both Iowa’s dismantling of the Husker football team on Black Friday and at Creighton’s sixth straight victory at the culmination of Nebraska’s #CreightonHateWeek. Two of my fondest memories.

I’ve Been There 

Wonky stuff happens when you put hockey teams in Arizona.

Unexpected collisions are the worst. The two that come to mind send shivers down my spine. The first entails hurrying across the street followed by our rugby team’s hooker (it’s a forward position, get your mind out of the gutter). A car was approaching and I quickly came to a halt. The next thing I knew I was laying in the street in immense pain. My buddy who was tailing close behind could not put on the brakes, and smashed into me. In hindsight, I might have preferred to have been hit by the car.

The second collision came in elementary school. I was playing tag on the playground blacktop, keeping an eye on my pursuer. I had my neck craned over my right shoulder when I decided to make a break for it. I turned, took a hard step, and ran my head straight into a tetherball pole. The next thing I knew I was surrounded by a group of elementary school kids legitimately poking me with a stick to make sure I was okay.

Needless to say, I am glad that neither of these were caught on camera.

Jot for Javy 

Does any Chicago Cub have more fun playing the beautiful game of baseball than Javier Baez? Rarely does a Cubs and Cardinals player celebrate the same play on a baseball diamond, but Yadier Molina’s pill to an early-celebrating Javier Baez was a remarkable exception. Javy is simply a joy to watch. I hope he stays a Cub for a long time. Though I am quite hyped for March Madness to continue, I am most giddy for baseball.

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