The University of Texas-San Antonio becomes the second Texas university to visit Omaha in less than a week. Prior to this, Creighton dismantled Texas Southern by the tune of 93-70 in front of 16,500 in the friendly confines of the Century Link Center. UTSA (0-2) will bring their winless record into Omaha, with a 33 point loss to Clemson and a 12 point loss to Creighton's Missouri Valley replacement Loyola Chicago. The UTSA men's basketball program was featured in the 2011 NCAA Tournament where they were ousted by Ohio State after winning the opening round game. They haven't reached the dance since. Here's three things to look for in tonight's game:
1. Khyri Thomas
Named the Big East's freshman of the week, the first ever freshman to win the award at Creighton, Khyri Thomas will look to pressure and push the UTSA back court around. Coming off an 18-point, 3 rebound and 2 steal affair against Texas Southern, look for Khyri to build on his recent success and continue showing his mettle to the entire country. UTSA seems to have a lack of ball control on their side as they turned the ball over 23 times against Loyola and 13 times against Clemson, stats that cause a guy like Khyri to salivate heavily.
2. UTSA vs 3's
UTSA has a really tough time shooting the ball behind the arc. In their game against Clemson they went 6-25 from three, amounting to a 24% shooting percentage. They improved a little bit against Loyola-Chicago, going 6-20 and 30%. Sure, their offense is not so great when it comes to the trey ball, but their defense is absolutely horrific when the other team spots up to collect. Clemson went on a stretch in the 1st half of their game where they made 81% from 3 -- going 8 for 13. Yikes. Clemson cooled in the 2nd half, shooting just 4-12 from deep, but still shot nearly 50% for the game with 12 made 3's. Against Loyola, the Ramblers shot 44% from deep. If this is any indication on how the game is going to go tonight, the only thing UTSA can do is pray that ShooterU has an off night.
3. Points off Turnovers
Creighton absolutely manhandled Texas Southern when it came to points off turnovers last Saturday. Forcing 20 turnovers, the Bluejays were able to score 30 points after receiving the ball back. That'll pretty much destroy the morale of any team but in the Loyola-UTSA matchup, where turnovers were a common occurrence (UTSA had 23, Loyola had 21), UTSA was only able to get 24 points off Loyola's mistakes. If Creighton can keep the defensive tempo up against the Roadrunner's inability to control the ball, it may be a blowout of epic proportions. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see!