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#21 Marquette v Creighton - Preview

The second most electrifying player in college basketball visits Omaha for the Bluejays’ first conference home game.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 6:00pm CT

Location: CHICO, Omaha, NE

TV: CBS Sports Net

Stream: CBS Sports Net

Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9FM the Keg in Omaha / 540AM in Milwaukee

Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Anonymous Eagle - Marquette

Tweeters:

Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa / Fake Blue Crew

Marquette - Sam Newberry / Marquette MBB / Anonymous Eagle / Paint Touches / Jack Goods / Grant Becker / Marquette Nation


Odds & Ends

Creighton is favored by 3.5 points according to Odds Shark.

Over/under set at 157.5.

Kenpom has Creighton winning this one 80-77.


Series History

Marquette has a 52-34 advantage over the Jays. It’s a long and storied rivalry that dates back to when your grandmother was fighting the great depression by digging holes and filling them with gold on the family farm. There’s at least $500,000 worth of gold waiting for you upstate. Go ahead. Go get it.


Verba de Ludis

What a bizarre and strange beast this conference season has become. The pundits and talking heads endlessly push the narrative that there’s no true frontrunner in the league, which has a shred of truth lest you discount the Villanova win against St. John’s from last night that pushed the Wildcats to an undefeated record in conference.

There’s Seton Hall who beat St. John’s with much controversy and then followed it up with a loss to DePaul in Chicago. There’s Georgetown, who walloped Butler and then went down to the wire in an instant-classic against St. John's, eventually losing in overtime. There’s Xavier, who sucks bad, and DePaul, who sucks for five game minutes and loses in that timeframe.

There’s a great deal of whiplash that occurs with each BIG EAST tilt, with those proclaiming that the winning team has a path to finish in the top half of the lead or contend for the title. A lot of folks put Creighton on a pedestal after their trouncing of Providence; those same folks put a lot of question marks on Marquette’s abilities after getting blown to bits by Shamorie Ponds and his St. John’s troop. Then Creighton got smoked by the Bulldogs of Butler and Marquette toyed around with the Musketeers before pushing them into the pit of suckitude, the Golden Eagles laughing as the sound of a sword clanked and clanged all the way down into Suck City.

Now this stupid season of greatness and whack ass results reaches a bright blippity blip as Marquette visits Creighton tonight. Marquette was hyped as a team with offensive firepower but they’ve shown that they can play some lockdown defense. According to Kenpom, they’ve posted a top-50 defensive team in terms of efficiency. They’ve forced teams into poor shooting from the field but moreso from three, allowing teams to shoot just 29.7% from beyond the arc. They also don’t allow a whole lot of offensive boards. These things make Creighton fans real sad.

Creighton is 119th in defensive efficiency. 40% of their overall scoring comes from beyond the arc. They post a 60% eFG%, which is good for 3rd in the country. As those who’ve followed this team diligently know this team sucks hard shooting from the free throw line. I know that hack-a-Shaq is a cliched term, but if any of Creighton’s opponents want to win, they ought to employ the same technique to Martin Krampelj and Damien Jefferson since the duo can’t hit a lick from the charity line.

Marquette is probably going to win this game by the hands of Markus Howard unless Davion Mintz can channel his inner defensive prowess. Given recent history, though, it’s going to be Sam Hauser finally coming out of his funk and nailing trey after trey after trey.

There’s no real way to defend this Marquette squad, and given the forgiving rims at the CHICO, it’s going to be a measure in ineptitude to try to do so. If the Jays are going to win this, they’re going to need a strong bounce-back perfomance from Ty-Shon Alexander, who couldn’t score to save his life against Butler, and has turned in less than favorable returns in big games this season.

Mitch Ballock can play a key as well. It won’t be his scoring that the Jays will rely on but instead his off-ball abilities that set tempo and pace. His passing and vision will act as catalysts when the Jays are in transition and in the half-court when the offense seems to stagnate.

Kaleb Joseph will probably score like 21 points this game because why the fuck not.

I don’t know.

This league is hard to figure out.

Marquette wins by 8+ and everyone and their mother puts them at the front of the league because of it.

I just hope Markus Howard makes a show of it. Theo John gets double digit rebounds. Sam Hauser breaks some sort of single-game three point record.


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