How to Watch, Listen, Stream
Gametime: 6:30pm ET / 5:30pm CT
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 99.1FM WNEW in DC
Stream: FoxSportsGo (where available - subscription required)
Odds & Ends
Georgetown is favored by 3 points according to OddsShark.
Moneyline: Georgetown opened at -175 while Creighton is at +145.
In the first tilt between these two teams this year, Maurice Watson Jr. decided to take the game into his own, majestic hands and press the Hoyas into a submission that they won't soon forget. The 5'11 point guard scored 27 points on 9-13 shooting, including a couple of uncharacteristic treys from deep. Georgetown made a whole lot of mistakes down the stretch, turning the ball over 8 times in the second half.
Creighton held a 2 point lead at 38-36 in the first half, though the Hoyas made a valiant push as the first half ended to cut the deficit from nine to two. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera accounted for 8 points while Jessie Govan finished with 9 in the first half. The CenturyLink Center was aching for some points production, awaiting a scoring explosion by someone on the Jays squad.
What we were treated to in the second half was a neck and neck affair up until the 7 minute mark. From then on Creighton went on a 13-4 run to put the opposing team away. Creighton outscored Georgetown 41-30 in the second, getting a lead of 15 with just under 1:30 left. Watson Jr., scored 20 of his 27 points, Isaiah Zierden got a few key steals in the latter parts of the game, and Creighton had their second win of the young BIG EAST season in the bag and assessed Georgetown their first loss of the conference season.
Verba de Ludis
Some say that revenge is a dish best served over steamed rice and some vegetables. In this instance, revenge is a dish best served to get on a track to prosperity. Georgetown has shown a keen eye towards the lackadaisy when it comes to the basketball court, relying on the efforts and talents of star point guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. The supporting cast around him can expel some great basketball skill, but when it comes to the wire, DSR is the most common player on the Hoya squad to possess the ball with time ticking off the clock and the desire for a basket is urgent. Georgetown dropped their last game to some unknown team in the AAC during a blizzard, leaving the Hoya faithful upset and confused on where exactly to peg this basketball program. Panic can spread like salt when the front step gets dangerously icy, and the 4-1 Georgetown team welcomes a Creighton team that has configured this whole 'winning' idea into their central mainframe.
Speaking of, the Bluejays have figured out a way to win in the most unusual fashion. A offense-first minded team has suddenly resurrected themselves as a respectable defensive foe, keeping the high-scoring Butler offense at bay and utilizing a mix of defensive pressures to keep the game even-keeled. Maurice Watson Jr., has become the shining light on this team of orbital shooters, making some unbelievable passes in dire circumstances to leave the opposition in awe of his vision on the court. Against a defense-first team like Georgetown, this match-up should be a pound for pound redux of what transpired in the game before, though the Hoyas will be sure to keep two eyes on the junior guard, which will inevitably work to Creighton's advantage. The potency of the offense, between the shooting talents of Toby Hegner, Isaiah Zierden, Cole Huff (sometimes), and James Milliken should keep the Hoya defense defending for their lives at any given moment.
If Georgetown decides to clog the middle to stop Mo Watson's dribble drive, they're left vulnerable on the wings and corners for Creighton's shooters. If they stick close to their man, they allow the dribble drive to exist. They can either hope and pray for a poor shooting night or let Watson torch them over and over again, causing a nightmarish scenario that will burn in the back of their minds for years to come.
In an effort to become more intimate with Microsoft Excel, I decided to slap together a few graphs that represent the offensive and defensive efforts of both Creighton and Georgetown through their last three games. To offer a simple explanation to what exactly EFG% is, it's a statistic that figures in offensive production by combining shots from the field as well as 3-pointers to give a broader sense of how well a team shoots overall. The official formula for something of this nature is eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 x 3PTM)) / FGA. So, let's take a deeper look into how both teams have been performing in a ridiculously small sample size to give an idea of where we're at when this game starts:
Georgetown appears to have a slight advantage on the offensive side of the ball, though this may be a bit of recency bias as the Hoyas are known more for their defensive prowess than their offensive abilities. It seems, however, that there's a bit of a culture change going around JT3's hoopball squad, changing their playing dynamic to focus more on shooting 3's and scoring points than locking down on defense. Creighton, however, has gone the opposite direction as of late, focusing more of their energy on defense and stopping playmakers than on offense (though, let's not kid ourselves, it's preposterous to think of the Bluejays as anything other than an offensive juggernaut - these past few games have been more anomaly than anything). Now, just for kicks, let's take a look at the defensive side of the ball:
Hey, my narrative from above seemingly worked out! How about that, huh? Creighton has a bit of an edge on defense according to these beautiful screenshots of a graph I made on Excel!
Creighton absolutely torched Georgetown in Omaha. Georgetown is coming off a disappointing loss in a matchup against a former BIG EAST rival. Creighton is coming off a breathtaking victory over #18 and current BIG EAST member Butler. What shall transpire in this one? Tune in to FS1 at 6:30pm ET/5:30pm CT to find out!