If the Creighton Bluejays want to make a Cinderella run, they’re going to have to go through #23 Georgetown who swept the season matchup by an average of 21 points. The Hoyas come in winners of five of their last six games. Here are three keys points for this matchup.
1.) Will James Milliken show up?
Milliken tied his Big East season-high with 22 points Wednesday night against DePaul. In Creighton’s five Big East wins this season, Milliken averaged 15.4 points. In two games this season against the Hoyas, Milliken scored 8 points on 2-of-17 shooting. If Milliken can play well against the Hoyas, Creighton has a chance, even if it’s minuscule.
2.) Will D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera show why he’s All-Big East?
Smith-Rivera was selected to All-Big East first team this season. Smith-Rivera was part of the reason for Georgetown’s 20-9 record and 12-6 Big East mark. The junior guard averaged a team-leading 16.0 points, good for fifth in the Big East. He sat out in Georgetown’s season finale against Seton Hall with a lower-body injury, but will play against the Bluejays. In the first matchup between these two teams, Smith-Rivera managed to score only five points, but scored a game-high 24 points in the second and final matchup. Look to see Smith-Rivera be a big part of the Hoya’s offense Thursday night.
3.) Georgetown’s Stifling Defense
Georgetown’s defense has been a big key to their success this season. Georgetown’s defense ranks first holding opponents to .399 field goal percent and third holding opponents to 65 points per game in the Big East. The Hoyas' defense gave the Bluejays trouble this season, holding them to an average of 50.5 points per game on .257 shooting. The Hoyas defense will be key if they are to repeat their success against the Bluejays.