The Butler Bulldogs advanced to the Big East Tournament quarterfinals with a thrilling overtime win over Xavier. An Aaron Thompson-less Butler relied heavily on freshman Chuck Harris and the frontcourt pairing of Golden and Nze. Harris scored 21, all in the second half and overtime. Although taking down Xavier is no small feat, beating Creighton a mere five days after the Bluejays put up 93 points against them in a blowout win will not be easy. However, for Butler it’s win or go home—and that urgency showed through in Wednesday night.
For the Bluejays, a senior night win over Butler quelled a week filled with uncertainty and doubt. Now, with Greg McDermott back at the helm, the Bluejays are looking to build momentum into the Big Dance and improve seeding.
Creighton did drop a game at Butler earlier this year, primarily due to the inability to stop Aaron Thompson. It’s also worth noting that Marcus Zegarowski wasn’t available during that first game against Butler. Chuck Harris has put up 20+ in four of his past six games, and he’ll be the key for the tenth-seeded Butler to knock off the second-seeded Jays. Bryce Nze has steppedup his production in his senior campaign, and put up 19 points in round one against Xavier. Bryce Golden will be tasked with a heavy workload on both ends of the court, as well.
Marcus Zegarowski will likely enter Madison Square Garden with a chip on his shoulder after being left out of the three-way tie for Big East player of the year. Zegarowski is currently averaging 15.4 points and nearly five assists to go along with shooting it at a 40% clip from beyond the arc. Creighton has a three-headed monster made up of all seniors on the wings—Ballock, Mahoney, and Jefferson. An undervalued cog in the Creighton machine this year has been the steady work of Christian Bishop down low. Bishop’s field goal percentage is near the top in the nation at 70%.
The Big East Tournament tends to bring out the dramatic—and it wouldn’t be shocking to see that continue in this one. This game has significant implications for both teams, as well as bragging rights in the season series. The winner will face the winner of UConn and DePaul in the semifinals
How to Watch
Time: Approx. 6 p.m. ET
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go