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Creighton hosts Xavier in Sunday showdown

These teams could both use a win in a bad way.

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

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Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Sports Net (Check local listings)

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The Xavier Musketeers (11-11, 3-6) and Creighton Bluejays (12-9, 3-5) have both struggled this year. The Musketeers currently sit last in the Big East, while Creighton is 8th. It makes sense that the teams have been in the cellar this year. Xavier lost Chris Mack, Trevon Bluiett, JP Macura, Sean O’Mara, Kaiser Gates, and Kerem Kanter, while Creighton lost their two leading scorers in Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas, not to mention Toby Hegner. In Thomas’ case, the loss is felt even more so than usual considering his defensive prowess over the past couple years. As a result, the Bluejays have been 187th in the nation in defensive efficiency, down from 58th last season.

The good news for Creighton is their offense has still been very good, particularly in the way of Ty-Shon Alexander and Mitch Ballock’s development. Alexander’s improvement has been the most notable, as he jumped from 5.5 points per game in 2017-18 to 17.4 points per game this season.

Xavier’s very similar to the Bluejays in that their offense has been great and defense has been porous. Xavier has gotten good contributions from Naji Marshall and Paul Scruggs this season, and since they’ll be back next year, that’s a positive sign. It’s never easy to replace your coach and all those other impact players, but in the present, it’s rough.

If you like offense, this is a game for you. If you like defense, it’s not a game for you, also, hello Tony Bennett, thank you for reading my preview.