– Posted by Zurg –
I love college basketball, and I love television. So why not write a blog post comparing one to the other?
This is the first of two posts I will make comparing this year’s Big East teams to TV Shows. In Post 1, I’ll take a look at Butler, Creighton, Xavier, Marquette, and Providence.
How great was Friends? From 1994 to 2004, we had one of the best shows of the era. The show had everything it needed with great writing and a killer cast. But then it ended, and we were left with Joey.
Butler had a great run, too, from the late 1990s all the way to back-to-back National Championship game appearances under Brad Stevens in 2011 and 2012. A killer cast made up of Gordon Hayward, Matt Howard, and Shelvin Mack made the show work well. Then, Brad Stevens went to the Celtics, and we were left with Brandon Miller.
This is not to say that Brandon Miller is the wrong person to lead Butler. Hopefully, Brandon Miller will figure out how to solve Butler’s woes in the new Big East quickly – and end up more like a Frasier than a Joey. Regardless, I think Butler will give Miller more time to figure it out than NBC gave Joey (1.5 seasons).
CREIGHTON: House of Cards
Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood is the most mesmerizing character presently on television, in my opinion. House of Cards is a Netflix original series following Underwood, a Democrat from the 5th Congressional District of South Carolina and House Majority Whip, exacting revenge on those who have betrayed him in Washington, D.C. The show itself is fantastic, fast-paced, and addicting. When it really gets moving, I don’t think there is a better show on television (or the Internet?) than House of Cards.
The main comparison between House of Cards and the Creighton Bluejays is that Greg McDermott’s team is a newcomer to the Big East and has made an immediate splash. In its first season in the conference, Creighton is 9-2 and had one of the best offensive performances in college basketball history against Villanova.
So what else? Does this make Doug McDermott the comparison for Frank Underwood? Let’s see… I can’t think of another player in the Big East out for blood more than McDermott. He is on a mission to prove himself not only as the runaway winner of the Naismith/Wooden/Everything Award but also as a player that can and will be effective at the next level. McDermott came back to school to prepare “physically and mentally” for the NBA. He’s kicking ass and ripping throats.
XAVIER: Orange is the New Black
Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is a newcomer – and it is a good one. Falling in the shadow of Netflix’s other 2013 drama release House of Cards (SEE: Creighton, above), Orange is the New Black received some critical acclaim, gaining a nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama at the Golden Globes, but it has not gotten as much attention as it deserves. The show follows Piper Chapman, a woman sentenced to 15 months in federal prison, and I highly recommend it.
Xavier currently sits at 6-4 in the conference, a few notches behind conference leaders Villanova and Creighton. The Musketeers are having a very strong season, but they have certainly been overshadowed by fellow Big East newcomer Creighton and its Player of the Year frontrunner, Doug McDermott. Chris Mack and his boys will likely get a bid to the NCAA Tournament and have a chance to prove themselves to the rest of the country again after an early season letdown in the Bahamas. Like OITNB, Xavier deserves some more love from the media than what they are receiving.
We’re talking about post-Season 1 Homeland here. Our expectations were so high after the action-packed, tension-filled first season of Showtime’s Emmy winning series. We used to be so excited for Sunday nights when a new Homeland episode would air.
But then Season 2 rolled around and left us with heart monitor malfunctions and aired out storylines. Our expectations weren’t met, but we still watched. Season 3 started off the same as Season 2 (READ: slow), but it ended with a bang and gave some promise for the future of the series.
So where does Buzz Williams’ team fit in? Marquette had high expectations when the season started. Coming off three straight deep tournament runs, including an Elite Eight appearance last season, Marquette was picked to win the newly formed conference. The only Big East team ranked in the AP Poll, the Golden Eagles have disappointed by posting a 2-9 record against the KenPom top 50 (0-6 vs. the top 35).
But we still watch – and just like Homeland, we still have faith that Marquette will turn it around.
PROVIDENCE: The Walking Dead
For those unfamiliar with AMC’s The Walking Dead, the show centers on a group of zombie apocalypse survivors in Atlanta. The show is entertaining, but the acting is spotty and the plotline seemed to stall for weeks at a time in Seasons 2 and 3. It is a solid television show nonetheless, but it has never been considered anything more than that because it just does not have the “IT” factor other Emmy-nominated programs do.
Ed Cooley’s Friars have those same problems. The team is there, and it can look strong at times (SEE: January 18 vs. Creighton), but it is missing something. That something could be transfer Brandon Austin or injured sophomore Kris Dunn – but the team is definitely missing something.
Despite all the issues, the injuries, and the transfer requests, however, Providence refuses to die. They have been dead men walking (see what I did there?) since the Kris Dunn injury news broke in December, but they are yet to quit. Losers of 3 straight, it looks like Providence’s postseason chances are riding in the coming week when Villanova pays a visit to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Tweet us @BEandBeyond if you have comparisons of your own, or just to let us know how you feel about these!