Unlike years prior, both teams come into this game riding the struggle bus. The Musketeers are wrapped up in a six-game losing streak, while the Bluejays have taken two losses in a row. Both teams would be playing on Wednesday night in the upcoming Big East Tournament next month if these standings hold, a bit of a rarity for both to be sure. Both teams have done it once before, Creighton in 2015, Xavier in 2017, but these showings they’ve had this year are anything but the norm.
From a defensive perspective, both teams have been woeful. Especially in Big East play. KenPom’s conference only statistics showcase that the Jays and the Muskies rank 9th and 10th in the conference Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Creighton has the worst eFG% allowed (54.6%) and the worst 2PT FG% allowed (53.3%), as well as the second-worst 3PT FG% allowed (37.5%).
Meanwhile, Xavier has the worst 3PT FG% allowed (37.8%), the second-worst eFG% allowed (54.2%) and the second-worst TO% (15.4%). Thus, you could wind up seeing a lot of points put up on the board. Well, at least on Creighton’s side of things. The Musketeer offense has been one of the worst in conference play as well. They rank 8th in AdjOE, 9th in eFG%, 7th in 2PT FG% and 9th in 3PT FG%. They’re also playing sloppily, ranking 8th in TO%.
The Musketeers’ offensive struggles have really been the big reason why they’ve fallen apart of late. They have scored at least 75 points just twice in this six-game losing streak they’re on. Their other point totals have been 62, 73, 54 and 62 in their most recent loss to the DePaul Blue Demons this past Saturday. Creighton, also, has had trouble scoring the basketball in their last two games. The Jays have scored just 59 and 58 points, as their offense was stymied against the Villanova Wildcats and the Seton Hall Pirates.
It’s tough to make heads or tails of this matchup. KenPom tends to agree, as Creighton is favored to win, but they have a WP% of 55 percent. So, it’s basically a coin flip. I’d tend to agree here, as both teams have bene stuck in the mud and just don’t look themselves. But, Creighton’s offense has been better than Xavier’s, and Xavier’s defense has been woeful, so you might expect the Jays to get the win tonight in Cincinnati.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Spread: Creighton (-1)