How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 7:00pm CT
Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE
TV: FS2 / FoxSportsGo
Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9FM the KEG in Omaha / 1350AM in Akron
Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Hustle Belt - MAC
Tweeters: Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Jon Nyatawa
Odds & Ends
Creighton opened as a 12.5 point favorite, but the spreads are all over the place, some at 11, some at 14.
Over/Under set at 158.
If you need help to stop gambling on sports games, feel free to reach out to your local parishioner and seek the touch of God to cure what ails you.
Verba de Ludis
Akron comes into the game at 6-1 with wins over American (72-62), Radford (88-41), Georgia Southern (75-67), Air Force (84-75), Mercer (65-63), and Adrian (95-41) with their sole loss coming in the first game of the season against Youngstown State (90-82).
This is the second consecutive MAC team Creighton will face after beating Buffalo last Tuesday 93-72. Akron has been a formidable foe in the MAC, a perennial winner in conference, but dropped last year’s conference championship game to Buffalo on a buzzer-beater shot.
So far this year they haven’t played anyone quite as good as Creighton, playing a relatively weak non conference schedule so far. They do, however, have some playmakers:
Isaiah Johnson 6’10 290lbs - 15.7 PPG, 6RPG, 67.7% FG
Antino Jackson 5’11 160lbs - 12 PPG, 2.4 APG, 15-35 / 43% 3FG
Noah Robotham 6’1 165lbs - 10.1 PPG, +1.4 A/TO, 42.3% FG
Akron has an extremely proficient offense with Isaiah Johnson in the middle as long as his guards are able to get him the ball. He’s shooting quite well this year from inside the paint, though he hasn’t been matched up with anyone with near as much size and speed as he will tonight. It’ll be interesting to see how Akron’s half court set, especially with paint isolation, will work against Creighton’s flashy, quick handed defense. Johnso’s skills are accentuated with another big man - Kwan Cheatham Jr. (6’10 235lbs) - manning the middle along with him. These two are a killer tandem and can cause any team fits if they don’t have the size to match up.
Antino Jackson, Noah Robotham (whose name I keep reading as Robot Ham), and Josh Williams (6’2 195lbs) make up the Zip’s back court, each of them shooting 37% or better so far on the year. All three are fast, with quick first steps to enable penetration into the paint, with the other two waiting in the wings looking for an open three or to feed Johnson & Cheatham down low.
As I said previously, this is the first time Akron will really be tested by a superior program so far this year. They play with a slow pace, averaging a second longer on an average possession than previous foe Buffalo. They love setting up the offense and working the ball around to a post player, and they milk the clock in order to do so.
They’re about as steady of a team as one can get with the statistics offered, rarely turning the ball over. Interestingly enough, Isaiah Johnson currently leads the team in assists, so the big man can certainly dish the ball from the paint.
The past two nights have been a pretty excellent time if you’re a fan of Creighton sports. First, the volleyball team went five sets against Northern Iowa to advance to the round of 32 game against the 5th seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
Last night, the Jays went five sets yet again against the aforementioned fictional bird of KU, with the most thrilling fifth sets in volleyball history in my opinion. You can find my write up here, or if you’d like to get a feel for the emotion and excitement that followed the game, just watch this video:
OH MY GOD!!!!
Creighton will head to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year, the second time in program history to reach that benchmark, and will face the Michigan Wolverines sometime next weekend. The match will most likely take place in Austin, where number one overall seed Texas will host (they play tonight against SMU to decide who gets into the Sweet 16)