Let’s settle the debate, offense vs. defense. That’s exactly what we’ll be getting in this Game. Creighton scores (and shoots) with the best of them at 75.4 points per Game while Cincinnati allows under 60 points per Game. Of course, if the Bearcats can start hitting their shots, it’d be a different story. The Bluejays come into this Game with a higher seed and as -3.5 point favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
Just look at the numbers for this Game. Cincinnati’s two highest scorers in Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright both shoot under 40 percent from the field. Thrown in a wretched 31 percent from behind the three-point line for Kilpatrick and you wonder why they shoot so much if they can’t hit anything? Well, mainly because there’s no one else to step up. JaQuon Parker is a solid player in his senior season, but he’s never been the type to take over an offense. He averages 11.3 points on the season.
LUckily for the Bearcats, Creighton’s defense isn’t the best. On the other end of that, they did beat Wisconsin 84-74 at the beginning of the year, a team famously known for slowing down Games. The Bluejays just weren’t having it.
You’d think Creighton is pretty bad on the offensive end since they only have one scorer in double-digits. The only problem is that one player scores 23 points per Game and his name is Doug McDermott. He finished with 30 points and eight boards in that Wisconsin Game. He shoots 56 percent from the field and close to 50 percent from long-range. The kid cannot be defended. Everyone knows McDermott can score, but whether it’s running off screens or just splashing shots in opponent’s faces, he can’t be stopped. Of course, his teammates can’t be forgotten because they shoot just as well. Ethan Wragge is a fellow gunner that has as many threes as McDermott while Grant Gibbs runs the show at point with close to six assists per Game. Center Gregory Echenique will be an important piece in this Game, as he’ll have to bully around down low against Cincinnati’s strength.
The Bearcats have lost seven of their last 11 Games which is a main reason they sit as the No. 10 seed. Both of these teams were actually ranked earlier in the season, but blips in the second half of the year have caused them to fall from the rankings. The Bluejays lost three straight Games in the MVC back in February which doesn’t usually help things, but now have won seven of their last eight.
Cincinnati will have to figure out one of two things if they want to win this Game: how to stop McDermott or how to make their shots. Neither of those will come easy which is why the Bluejays are moving ahead in most brackets.