The Toledo Rockets are going dancing for the first time since 2001, and they’ve found a dance partner. The Creighton Blue Jays of the Big East Conference will be the Rockets’ first-round opponent.
The Rockets will be a 10-seed for this match-up, which seems to be a sign of deep respect for the Mid-American Conference, which saw the top four seeds fall in dramatic fashion during the tournament.
The Rockets also draw the luck of not being in the same region as the legendary UConn Huskies program (Bridgeport) or drawing the Bracket of Death (Lexington.) If the Rockets can win vs. Creighton, they would draw the winner of 2-seed Oregon State/15-seed Long Beach State.
South Carolina is the number one seed in the Stockton Region, with Oregon State second and Florida State third. Toledo will play Creighton in Corvallis, Oregon, home of the Oregon State Beavers.
The Blue Jays went 23-7 (16-2) this season and were selected as an at-large for the Big Dance after losing to eventual Big East Champion Marquette in the conference tournament.
Creighton finished tied for first in the Big East with the DePaul Blue Devils in the regular season, winning every conference game except for their two against the 21st-ranked DePaul. Creighton went 2-1 on neutral courts this season.
Audrey Faber is the leading scorer for Creighton, with 13.9 points per game, while Briana Rollerson (7.1 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game) and Marissa Janning (4.7 assists per games) are other contributing statistical leaders.
The Jays really like to wear down opponents in the third quarter; they have scored 542 points in that period this year compared to opponents’ 431, a full 111 point difference.
Toledo and Creighton played one common opponent this season in Dayton. Creighton won 56-53 on the road, while Toledo also won in the road 76-72.
The game between Toledo and Creighton will be Friday night at approximately 7:30 p.m. EST after the conclusion of the Oregon State/Long Beach State game on ESPN2.