Creighton's basketball season has reached the point when it seems everybody wants to know where the Bluejays will wind up seeded and playing in the NCAA tournament.
Everybody, that is, except for Greg McDermott and his players.
To a man, the Bluejays say they have little interest in the multitude of projections being made.
Creighton's focus, McDermott said, has to remain on the business at hand.
“It's cool to see your name up there in all the projections,'' he said, “but we have a couple more weeks of serious basketball before we worry about that.''
McDermott probably has at least some inkling where the Bluejays are being projected because the mother of his star player keeps him informed of such things.
“My mom's really into it,'' Doug McDermott said. “She was excited about us having a chance to play in St. Louis. Being a coach's son growing up, I used to definitely look at that stuff.
“Now that I'm a player on the team, it's a little different. I don't follow it.''
Creighton guard Grant Gibbs said he doesn't believe any of his teammates even has a passing interest in the projections. Teammate Jahenns Manigat seconded that.
“I would like to think that no one has the right answer about who should be placed where before Selection Sunday,'' Manigat said. “Obviously, we hear all the rumors about where we're going to be if we win out and yada, yada, yada.”
Creighton has three regular-season games remaining — Saturday at Xavier, Tuesday at Georgetown and March 8 at home against Providence. After that, the Bluejays will head for Madison Square Garden and the Big East tournament, where they could play from one to three games.
The tournament championship game is set for March 15. The next day, the NCAA basketball committee will unveil pairings and seedings for the 68-team tournament at 5 p.m.
Barring a collapse by the Bluejays down the stretch, it appears they will earn the program's highest seeding in history. That honor now belongs to the 2002-03 team led by senior Kyle Korver that was a sixth seed in the 2003 tournament but was upset in the first round by Central Michigan.
According to Bracket Matrix, a website that monitors tournament projections, Creighton's average seed in 93 bracket projections is 2.32. The Bluejays are projected as a No. 2 seed in 63 brackets and a No. 3 in the other 30.
A sampling of those bracket projections has Creighton's likely destination being San Antonio, with opening-game opponents including UC Santa Barbara and Boston University. Some bracketologists see the Bluejays landing in Milwaukee.
What looks to be a long shot at this point is gaining a coveted first-weekend trip to St. Louis, where Creighton fans flocked in the past for the Missouri Valley tournament. Unbeaten Wichita State and Kansas, which clinched a share of its 10th straight Big 12 championship on Monday, appear to have the inside track to that site.
Creighton players know if they could get a trip to St. Louis that their fans would be sure to follow.
“Our job is just to try to win games,” Gibbs said, “and see where that all falls into place.”
Gibbs started his collegiate career at Gonzaga, which is in Spokane, Wash., one of the eight sites for the rounds of 64 and 32. Asked if he would like to make a trip back west and play in front of some of his old “fans,” Gibbs smiled and replied, “I'd rather stay closer to home.”
This will be the third straight trip to the tournament for Creighton's veteran players. Two years ago, they were sent to Greensboro, N.C., as a No. 8 seed. Their season ended with a loss to top-seeded North Carolina in the round of 32.
The Bluejays were a No. 7 seed last season and were assigned to Philadelphia. They defeated Cincinnati in their first game but lost to second-seeded Duke for a trip to the Sweet 16.
Creighton's middle-of-the-pack seeds the past two years were a result of some inconsistent play in February. The Bluejays lost three games in a row in that month each of the past two seasons. Avoiding a similar occurrence, rather than dreaming about bracket projections, has been a priority for this team.
“The lulls we've had at this part of the season the last couple of years really hurt our seed, and there's no getting around that,'' Gibbs said. “Sometimes a deep tournament run is based on where you're seeded and the matchups you get.
“We definitely didn't help ourselves the last couple of years in dropping games this time of the season.''
Creighton will head into its final three games of the regular season with at least a share of the Big East lead.
“If we win a conference championship, everything else will take care of itself,'' Greg McDermott said. “We don't spend any time looking at brackets or projections or anything like that. We just have to take care of what we can control.''