ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton in MVC Championship rematch

ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton in MVC Championship rematch
January 2, 2013, 5:56 pm
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The last time ISU and Creighton faced off, the Redbirds took the nationally-ranked Bluejays into overtime in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship.

But so much has changed for ISU since then.

In that Mar. 4 matchup, point guard Nic Moore led the Redbirds with 20 points. He has since transferred to SMU where he joined Tim Jankovich, ISU's coach from 2007-12.

Jankovich racked up 105 wins in his five seasons, earning four bids in the NIT tournament, but falling short of the NCAA tournament. ISU lost in the conference championship three times in Jankovich's tenure, including his first two seasons as head coach.

Dan Muller took over for Jankovich prior to the 2012-13 season in an attempt to rekindle the magic from his playing days. Muller headlined the last ISU team to make the NCAA tournament in 1998, earning the MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player and leading the Redbirds to a first-round win over Tennessee before losing to Arizona in the second round.

Muller, who has the Redbirds out to a 9-4 start to the campaign, never lost to Creighton in his playing days. But CU has had ISU's number the past few seasons, winning 21 of the last 31 matchups between the two teams.

Doug McDermott, the 2011-12 Valley Player of the Year, headlines a Creighton attack with his 23.5 points per game. The 6-foot-8 junior poured in 33 points in the MVC Championship game last season and has the Bluejays off to a hot start this season with a 12-1 record and No. 16 ranking in the country.

Creighton marks the second nationally-ranked team ISU has faced this season, following a 69-66 loss at No. 5 Louisville Dec. 1.

ISU legend and Chicago native Osiris Eldridge will act as the Redbird Ambassador for Wednesday's matchup.

Osiris Eldridge @Osiris_Eldridge ISU 2Mrrw!!!! for the creighton game! Can't wait to see my Redbird family! 1 Jan 13 Reply Retweet Favorite
Eldridge, who made the All-Valley team three straight seasons from 2008-10, is ISU's career leader in three-pointers and ranks fifth in scoring in the program's history. In 2009, he was named MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, just the second time a player from the losing team took home the award.

Wednesday's matchup can be seen on CSN where available. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.