Entering the final weekend of the regular season, the DePaul Blue Demons had a plethora of options in terms of their seeding for the conference tourney. They could have finished as high as sixth, or stayed in their current ranking at the bottom of the Big East standings. But first they had to worry about their own game against the Creighton Bluejays. It was going to be a tough environment and the Blue Demons needed a special performance to come out with a win in Omaha. It turned out to be the exact opposite. Behind the 39 points of Mitch Ballock, Creighton controlled the game the entire way and walked out with a 91-78 win. There was nothing the Blue Demons could do to stop Ballock, who was on fire from deep. He hit 11 of his 12 three-point attempts and his 39 points were the most scored by a BlueJay since Doug McDermott. The loss was a tough one for the Blue Demons as they stayed at the bottom of the Big East standings and now face a familiar opponent in the 7 vs. 10 matchup. Good news however is that Dave Leitao’s team has been playing well as of late, winning three of their last 4fourto finish out the year.
Things haven't been looking up for the St. John’s Red Storm however. Like DePaul they had a range of seeds where they could have landed but ended up losing on the final weekend as well. Against a red hot Xavier team, SJU were only down five at the half but things changed in the second half. Thanks to the duo of Paul Scruggs and Ryan Welage, Xavier beat St. John’s 81-68 and locked up a top-5 seed in the Big East tournament. Now like DePaul, the Red Storm find themselves playing on the first day of the tournament and will need to put up a fight to not only get out of the round but to make some noise in MSG.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 9:30 PM ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: WIND 560 AM (DePaul) || 570 WMCA (St. John’s)
Stream: Fox Sports Go (where available)
Odds: St. John’s opened as a 6-point favorite in this game but the line has since moved to them being (-5).
Record ATS: DePaul (14-14-1) || St. John’s (12-17-2)
O/U: The over/under opened at 158.5 but it’s moved down to either 154 or 155 pending on what site you use.
All information here via Oddsshark.com
Last Time They Met
Today is going to be a special one as it will be the first ever meeting between the schools in the Big East tournament (via DePaul’s media guide). In terms of the overall series, the Red Storm have won 23 of the 43 matchups thus far to have the lead. However, the last time these two teams met on 10 days ago, it was a comeback win for the Blue Demons to complete the season sweep. After being down nine at halftime, they stormed back with a 59 point second half and won 92-83 in Wintrust Arena.
Matchup by the Numbers
These are the numbers for each team in terms of KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency.
DePaul have an AdjOE ranking of 111.1 (52nd in the country) and an AdjDE ranking of 104.5 (172nd in the country).
St. John’s have an AdjOE ranking of 110.7 (55th in the country) and an AdjDE ranking of 101.0 (112th in the country).