After star point guard Maurice Watson tore his ACL, many though the Creighton Bluejays were dead in the water. The Jays have proven the doubters wrong so far and are currently on a two game winning streak, most recently capped off by a win on the road at Butler. Not many teams can come in to Hinkle Fieldhouse and win, so it was extremely impressive for a shorthanded Creighton team to take down the ‘Dawgs in their home venue.
Thanks to the win against Butler, Creighton jumped the Bulldogs in the standings and now find themselves back in second place. A familiar position for the Bluejays considering they were one of the top Big East teams (if not the best) when Watson was healthy, but now Greg McDermott and company have to manage without him and the journey has been smoothening.
Creighton’s next task will be against the Xavier Musketeers, who are on a two game winning streak of their own. After a loss to Cincinnati, the X-Men have rebounded so far with victories over St. John’s and Seton Hall. The two wins put the Musketeers at a record of 16-6, good for a tie for third in the Big East with Butler. They are 1.5 games back of ‘Nova and need some help to get back into the race for first place. Most of Xavier’s losses have came against ranked teams, with the exception of their second loss of the season which came against Colorado. So technically, they don’t have any “bad” losses but they have to prove once again that they can beat the big boys of the conference.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 3 p.m. ET
Radio: “The Zone” 1620 KOZN AM (Creighton) || 55KRC or 700 WLW AM (Xavier)
Stream: Fox Sports Go (Where Available)
Spread: Creighton enters this game as a 4.5 point favorite (via OddsShark.com)
Records ATS: Creighton (15-5-1) || Xavier (10-11)
There have been 23 games played between Creighton between Xavier, with the Musketeers leading 12-11 in the series. This is the second meeting this season between the two teams with Creighton winning the first matchup 72-67.
One matchup to watch for
Can Xavier stop Creighton’s offense?
Last year, X had one of the best defenses in the country. The same can’t be said about this year though, as Xavier ranks 50th in the country in KenPom’s adjusted defense efficiency metric, an obvious step down from last year. They will face a tough test against a Creighton team who averages 84.9 points per game, good for 14th in the country. Xavier can’t make this game a track meet otherwise Creighton is likely to win.