NCAA basketball on Friday and it is the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. In this matchup we will see the Creighton Bluejays take on the Providence Friars at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game has a start time of 9:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Vegas odds have the Bluejays listed as 6 point favorites, while the total sits at 145.
Stat Pack:The Creighton Bluejays took out Depaul by 22 points last night to advance to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. The win now has Creighton at 25-6 on the year. Creighton is one of the top offensive teams in the nation, as they rank 21st in scoring (80.0 ppg) 3rd in shooting (50.0%) and 1st in 3 point shooting (42.7%), plus they are also 27th in free throw shooting (74.6%). The offense is led by the best player in the nation in Doug McDermott, who averages 26.8 ppg, while also leading the team in rebounding at 7.1 rpg. Ethan Wragge is the only other player on the team that averages in double figures for the Bluejays at 10.5 ppg. Wragge (48%) and McDermott (46.0%) are both deadly from long range, while both also hit 82% or better from the free throw line. Defensively this is a solid team as they allow just 67.2 ppg on 41.9% shooting.
The Xavier Musketeers took out Marquette 68-65 last night to reach the semifinal game. Xavier is now 22-11 on the year, but have gone just 4-4 in their last 8 games. Xavier comes in averaging 72 ppg on 47% shooting, which is 47th in the nation. They do struggle at the FT line, hitting just 68.9% of their freebies to rank 211th in the nation. The offense is led by Semaj Christon, who scores 17.1 ppg on the year. Justin Martin (11.8 ppg) and Matt Stainbrook (10.5 ppg) round out the double digit scores n the team. Stainbrook leads the in rebounding (7.5 rpg), while Dee Davis leads the team in assists (144). The Musketeers are a decent defensive squad a they allow just 67.4 ppg on 42.4% shooting for the year.
Pick: I will go with the Bluejays in this one. Creighton has been a better team than Xavier all year and will show that in this one. Xavier just will not have the defense to stop McDermott and company. The Bluejays should win this one by 10-12 points as the Musketeers just won't be able to keep pace here.
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