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Creighton vs. UCSB: Preview, odds, and how to watch NCAA Tournament opening round

The 5-seeded Bluejays take on the feisty 12-seeded Gauchos.

Creighton v Georgetown - Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

How to Watch

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: truTV

Commentators: Lisa Byington, Steve Smith, Lauren Shehadi

Watch Online: March Madness Live

Betting Odds

Spread: Creighton -7.5

Total: 137.5

Moneyline: Creighton -330 | UCSB +265

The NCAA Tournament loves itself a 5-12 upset. 12 seeds have knocked off 5s on almost a yearly occurrence, resulting in intrigue being drawn in just because of the seedings alone. That is indeed the case again this year, as 5-seeded Creighton draws 12-seeded UCSB in an opening-round matchup.

The Bluejays are on the heels of a Big East Tournament Championship Game appearance. The Jays were pelted relentlessly by Georgetown in shocking fashion, leaving Creighton and Big East fans stunned. They will have to pivot now and aim for their first NCAA Tournament win in seven years. Their last victory came in 2014, the Bluejays’ first year in the Big East, against Louisiana Lafayette.

UCSB is looking to make the most of this appearance in the Tourney. This is the sixth time in program history that they’ve made it into the Big Dance. The Gauchos have acquired three appearances since 2010, this one included, as well as one in 2011. This was also the first time the Gauchos won the regular season and Big West tournament titles since 2010. They enter this game 22-4 and are winners of their last five, and 18 of their last 19.

According to ESPN, 27 percent of their brackets have UCSB beating Creighton. This is a trendy upset pick, and given how the Bluejays played recently, it’s hard to dismiss the argument. Creighton is a seven-point favorite on KenPom, right around where Vegas has them. If the Bluejays are firing on all cylinders, then they should knock the Gauchos out. But, the stench of the loss in the championship game may still have some fragrant aromatics.

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