How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 6:00pm CT
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 93.5 FM & 1070 AM in Indianapolis
Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Butler Hoops - Butler
Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa / Fake Blue Crew
Butler - Marisa Miller / Perry Waggoner / David Woods / Fake Brad Stevens / John Dedman / Jared Grubbs
Odds & Ends
Butler is favored by 6.5 points according to OddShark.
Over/Under set at 145.5
Bet on the Superbowl instead, dummy.
Behind a stellar performance by Maurice Watson Jr. and Khyri Thomas, in front of a sold out crowd in Omaha, Creighton was able to dismantle the Bulldogs early, taking a 20 point lead at halftime and eventually winning by 11, though the end result was a lot closer than the rest of the game as Butler ended the affair on a 6-0 run.
Both Creighton’s and Butler’s leading scorers were neutralized and kept well below their season averages, with Marcus Foster scoring just 9 points and Kelan Martin scoring 7.
You can find our recap of this game here.
Verba de Ludis
Creighton will most likely get completely demoralized in this game. They were able to create a breadth of separation scoring-wise in their last affair with the aid of Watson, and without him against a good team like Butler - coming off a rough loss to Georgetown - the Bulldogs will likely come out firing on all cylinders after what the Jays did to them in Omaha.
The question marks at point guard have become a muddled mess for the Jays, with McDermott favoring a point-by-feel approach instead of sticking with one hand or another. Tyler Clement and Davion Mintz will split time at point, offering a Jekyll-Hyde match-up to any 1-guard that will be simplistic enough for even the least-informed players to exploit.
Clement slows down the tempo and makes precision passes - if I were some sort of coach I’d probably go with him considering the Bluejays are teeming with scorers away from him. His knock is that he panics under pressure, and if a team throws a double team at him he’s bound to fold.
Mintz makes the tempo a little quicker, but I think that’s more a fallacy than fact. He’s certainly more athletic than Clement, but enjoys dribbling possessions out of rhythm and makes questionable decisions with the rock. He has a bit more flash to the rim, can shoot when no one is around him, and can occasionally drop a highlight dime, but his negatives outweigh the positives by a large margin at this point.
Khyri Thomas, the best all-around player on the team and perhaps the best on-ball defender in the entire conference, will have to produce a game similar to his performance against DePaul (18pts, 7 reb, 6 ast) while holding Eli Cain to 9 points on 4-17 shooting. He was great against Kelan Martin, but will he be able to do it again?
Butler got caught in a rockfight with the zombie Hoyas and lost in their last game. Creighton’s been there before so they can empathize with one another before he game.
Previous to that the Bulldogs’ last loss came at Creighton. Since then they managed to beat Xavier, Marquette (right before their hot streak), a weird overtime game against DePaul, and took care of business against Seton Hall.
Kamar Baldwin has emerged as a defensive stud, holding Khadeen Carrington to 12 points, JaJuan Johnson to 10, yet was standing idly by as Eli Cain poured in 32 points in their game against DePaul. If he’s to be an effective weapon for the Bulldogs, he’ll need to clamp down on either Khyri Thomas or Marcus Foster.
Andrew Chrabascz will likely need a break out game to forcefully shut down Creighton, a feat he can easily accomplish by getting Justin Patton off his feet and into foul trouble to get a much easier match-up for him in Zach Hanson. The two nearly mirror one another in the post, and handling a guy just coming off of injury would be much more welcome than a future lottery pick 7’ footer.
Tyler Lewis will likely have his way with whoever guards him, opening up driving lanes for the senior to dive into. He likely won’t be threatened with a ton of pressure with a lack of guarding ability from Creighton’s guards, so expect him to have a fantastic night from the field.
As I said before I fully expect Butler to roll in this one. There are too many question marks for Creighton from them to put up a formidable fight against the hungry Bulldogs.