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A Trip Down Memory Lane With Creighton Basketball

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

There's no denying the fact that Creighton has had the upper hand over Nebraska in basketball in recent years: the Bluejays have been to eight NCAA tournaments in this century, while Nebrasketball has only made it once. But contrary to what some Creighton basketball fans would want you to believe, it hasn't always been that way.  In fact, in the series, Nebraska holds a 25-23 advantage.  Creighton has closed the gap significantly in recent years, but that's because the series was rather one-sided historically.

I made it to one of those Nebraska-Creighton games in the pre-Dana Altman era; I believe it was 1993.  The date wasn't particularly important, and the outcome wasn't exactly memorable. I don't recall much of the game itself, but official records for that season show Nebraska won 67-53.  What I recall is the atmosphere for the game itself.

Creighton basketball was not just bad, it was just plain awful then. Rick Johnson was the coach that season; he resigned after the season before he could be fired with a 24-59 record. And Creighton students and alums had no interest in Creighton basketball.  Omaha's old Civic Auditorium appeared to be about half empty that night, and 3/4ths of the fans that night were wearing Husker red that night. A co-worker of mine complained to me the next day that it had turned into a #huskerHomeGame.

Frankly, compared to a Nebrasketball game at the Devaney Center, the atmosphere seemed like I was watching my old high school team playing. Creighton's pep band reminded me more of junior high than anything else. One Creighton fan I know calls these years the "dark ages".

Things have changed quite a bit since then. The Civic Auditorium is being gutted and prepared for demolition, and the Bluejays now play at the CenturyLink Center in front of probably ten times the number of Creighton fans that were there that night.  And Creighton has been winning - a lot.  Some younger fans may try to point out that's the way it's always been.

It isn't. And just because that's the way it's been recently, doesn't mean that it's the way it'll be this year or in the future.