After losing at home last week to a record-breaking performance from Angel Delgado and the Seton Hall Pirates, the DePaul Blue Demons were hoping for a rebound performance as they headed to face Butler. To cut the story short: They didn’t get that performance. It was all Bulldogs as Kelan Martin balled out once again, dropping 26 points along with six assists and rebounds to give a complete performance.
In the end, it was a 80-57 shellacking at Hinkle Fieldhouse, as the Blue Demons suffered their 13th loss of the season. Despite the loss, the Blue Demons remained in second to last in the Big East standings, which was due to St. John’s still not being able to get a win in conference play (But s/o to the Johnnies for knocking off Duke though). DePaul is tied for 8th place with Georgetown in terms of games behind first place (7) and are 1.5 games behind Marquette for 6th. It’s beginning to look a lot like the usual for DePaul.
Things won’t get any easier for the Blue Demons as they welcome a Creighton Bluejays team that sits 3rd in the Big East. The Jays will be coming into this matchup on the heels of seeing their two-game win streak snapped by Villanova. It was all Wildcats in that game, as Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson ran the show that night, scoring 21 and 19 points respectively.
Despite getting 20 points from Marcus Foster, ‘Nova was just too overpowering and never looked back, as they thrashed Creighton 98-78. The loss put Creighton at 17-6, and they are now tied with Providence for 3rd in the Big East with both Seton Hall and Butler nipping at their heels being only half a game behind.
With Xavier and Villanova clearly showing they are the best two teams, the real battle will be who gets those 3-6 seeds for the Big East Tournament.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 9 PM CST
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (DePaul) | KOZN 1620 AM (Creighton)
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Odds: Creighton enters this game as a 6-point favorite (via Oddsshark.com)
Record ATS: DePaul (10-11-1) || Creighton (13-10)
O/U: The O/U opened at 155
Last Time They Met
This is the grudge match between the two teams in terms of the all-time series. Tonight’s matchup will be the 33rd between the two programs with the series tied 16 all. However, Creighton has won the last 6 games in this series.
3 Things to Watch
If there is only one Creighton player you had to watch this whole season, it’s Marcus Foster. He’s been absolutely terrific for the Bluejays this season, averaging 19.9 points per game on 50.7% shooting from the field. He’s also been a threat from deep, knocking down 44.1% of his triples attempted throughout the season. Foster is the main facilitator for Creighton and is the piece which makes everything go. All of the offense runs through him, and rightly so. He recently dropped 20 points against a rugged Villanova defense, so let’s see how much he goes for against a DePaul team that is missing one of their best guards in Devin Gage.
Moving the ball
Along with the play of Foster, another thing which makes this Creighton offense click is their ball movement and willingness to share the basketball. Creighton averages around 18 dimes per game, good enough for 6th highest in the country. They love to spread the wealth around with Davion Mintz being the leader with 3 per game. Everyone loves to get into the act and there’s not just one guy who is the one who racks up all the assists. Just another way of how dangerous this Creighton team is offensively.
Seeding already important
We’ve already talked about how the rest of the Big East season will see us watching an all out slobber knocker between 4-5 teams for 3rd to 6th spots in the standings. Those seeds will be super important when it comes to seeding in the Big East tournament. How each of the following teams in Creighton, Providence, Marquette, and Butler play now and in the Big East tournament will also have an effect on if they make the big dance or not.
Right now, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Big East being represented by six teams in the field come March. Other than the fact that it’s pretty awesome, if you take a closer look you can see that Creighton has some work to do. They most recently dropped down to a 7th seed and would be slotted to face giant slayer Middle Tennessee in the first round.
Although these standings/seeding is sure to change by season’s end, it always helps to keep winning to make sure these things stay in your control. Certainly, Creighton will try to do just that. However, it’s also interesting to think about how much they would drop if the Blue Demons pull out a shocking win at Wintrust Arena.