Time and Date: Saturday, January 5 @ 12:00 p.m. ET
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
Records: Butler (9-5) | Creighton (10-4)
Rankings: Butler (#41 KenPom) | Creighton (#31 KenPom)
TV Channel: FS1
Stream: FOX Sports GO
The scuffling Butler Bulldogs host the Creighton Bluejays this Saturday in what could almost be termed a “must-win” for the Dawgs. Butler looks to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play after dropping its opener at home to Georgetown. With another home loss on Saturday, the Bulldogs would be facing a nearly impossible uphill climb to finishing in the top half of the BIG EAST and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton, on the other hand, has a little more wiggle room. The Jays went on the road and beat Providence comfortably their last time out, but another road win this Saturday would really put them in excellent shape going into a tough part of their schedule.
The match-up seems unfavorable for Butler. The Bulldogs have had immense trouble with Creighton since joining the BIG EAST, going 4-6 in ten games between the two teams and winning just one of the last four contests. The Jays typically boasts an efficient offense and this year is no different—they rank ninth in KenPom’s adjusted offensive rating. With Butler’s most recent defensive performance against Georgetown being nothing short of a disaster, Creighton will look to rack up 80 or 90 points at Hinkle on Saturday—a total that Butler’s staggering offense will likely be unable to match.
Butler will have to ramp up its defense to win this one. If the Bulldogs miss assignments like they did against Georgetown, Creighton will bury them. Creighton, meanwhile, needs to prevent Butler’s shooters from getting their mojo back after an ice cold shooting night.