This is going to be a fun one to watch to say the least. It’s a pure size vs. shooting matchup and there’s no telling who’s going to come out on top. Creighton has a plethora of shooters, while Baylor has a distinct height advantage down low. The Bluejays are -2.5 point favorites in the 3-6 matchup.
Baylor used their size in the first Game against Nebraska, drawing 31 fouls and getting a ridiculous 48 free throws. They dominated the boards with Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson, Royce O’Neale and Rico Gathers. The Cornhuskers didn’t hit their shots, and ended up shooting 4-of-21 from long range.
If Creighton shoots like that, there’s no doubt that Baylor will pull out the win. However, Creighton not only has the most made 3-pointers this year, but also the best percentage from behind the arc. The Bluejays have five guys that shoot at least 39.5% from three, which is just ridiculous when plenty of teams don’t even have one player that shoots that well.
Player of the year Doug McDermott is the obvious problem for Baylor on the defensive end. There aren’t many things he can’t do. McDermott can post up, shoot from anywhere on the cOurt, and once in a while he’ll cut to the hoop. Due to Baylor’s size, it’s going to be interesting to see how they line up against him. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Bears used Austin or Jefferson on McDermott, due to both of those guys’ length. The only problem is that McDermott is quicker than both of them and could end up torching them from distance. Then of course there’s Ethan Wragge, Creighton’s unusual big man that does most of his damage from the three-point line. Wragge is actually a more efficient shooter than McDermott if that says anything.
While Austin, Jefferson and O’Neale are going to have advantages on the offensive end, all three of them will have to play non-typical defensive roles against the Bluejays. Will their length be a factor in limiting the threes, or will Creighton have a field day?
Baylor has a minor advantage in the backcOurt, mainly on a scoring basis. Austin Chatman, Jahenns Manigat and Grant Gibbs are good players for Creighton, but most of their work is done toward setting up McDermott or Wragge.
Brady Heslip would fit right in with the Creighton team, and he’s Baylor main shooter. He was off against Nebraska and it would help if he could get a rhythm going in this one. Freshman point guard Kenny Chery is the main guard to watch out for. Because Creighton doesn’t have much of a defensive presence in the paint, Chery could be in for a nice Game due to his ability to get to the rack.
If the Bluejays are hitting their shots, not many can beat them. But if they start slow and let Baylor show their muscle down low, this Game will come down to the wire and in this situation, the Bears will have the edge.