#21 Butler Bulldogs (19-8) vs. #15 Creighton Blue Jays (21-6)
Date/Time: Sunday, February 23, 2020 4:00 PM FS1
15th ranked Creighton has won four in a row and in a Big East showdown they host Butler, who has lost two straight games.
On the season Butler is 14-12-1 ATS with an O/U record of 12-15 and Creighton is 15-11 ATS with an O/U record of 12-13.
Butler blew out of the gates this season winning 16 of their first 17 games including winning their first three Big East games and one at home against Creighton. However, the team has lost seven of their last 11 games since and with losing their last game they are only 7-7 in conference play.
The Blue Jays are led by a defense that ranks 21st in the nation only giving up an average of 62.1 ppg. In losing two in a row their defense has not been great giving up 73 and 74 points respectively.
Creighton has won four in a row and in that span beat 10th ranked Seton Hall on the road. The Blue Jays are in second place in the Big East one game back of Seton Hall, who they host in their regular-season finale.
They are the opposite of Butler in that they are led by their offense, which ranks 36th in the nation putting up an average of 78.1 ppg. In their four-game win streak, they have scored an average of 86.8 ppg and scored at least 93 points twice.
In their last games, Butler was on the road and lost to Seton Hall 74-72 and Creighton was on the road and beat a 19th ranked Marquette team 73-65.
In their last game facing Seton Hall Butler lost on a last-season off-balanced shot that somehow went in. They shot a better FG% in the game (49.1% to 46.2%) and had nine few shots from the free-throw line where the Pirates were 20-22.
Four of five starters for Butler scored in double figures in the loss to Seton Hall led by Kamar Baldwin with 20 points and Bryce Golden had 17 points.
Baldwin (16.3 ppg) leads the team in scoring and he has been steady even as the team has struggled in the last several games. Sean McDermott (11.9 ppg) is the only other player averaging in double figures on the season and scored 11 points in the loss to Seton Hall. He and Baldwin combined for 38 points in the win over Creighton at home earlier this season.
This season the Bulldogs are 4-5 on the road.
Solid Defense Keeps Streak Alive
Creighton won their fourth in a row in their last game beating Marquette 73-65 where they outscored them 32-22 in the first half and held them to 41% shooting. The Blue Jays shot a solid 47.5% from the floor and they shot the 3-pointer better (34.8% to 24.2%).
Only three players scored in double figures for the Blue Jays in the win over Marquette and Ty-Shon Alexander and Marcus Zegarowski combined for 39 points.
Alexander (16.9 ppg) leads four players that are averaging over 12 ppg and he has totaled 46 points and 12 assists in his last two games. Zegarowski (15.8 ppg) is the second leading scorer and has gone for at least 17 points in three of his last four games.
The Blue Jays were grounded in their loss to Butler early in the conference season in the 71-57 loss to Butler. They were outscored by 10 points in the first half only scoring 22 points and for the game only shot 38.9% from the floor.
On the season Creighton is 14-1 at home.
Butler covered the spread in their last game but had failed to do so in the previous three games. Not only has Creighton covered the spread in all four games in their current four-game win streak but they have covered in seven of their last eight games.
Creighton has played well in the last few games and they are streaking at the right time. They still have a chance to win the Big East and they will not stumble in this game facing a struggling Butler team.
The Blue Jays will shoot the rock much better than they did in their loss earlier this season against the Bulldogs. Creighton will win this game at home and cover the spread to extend their win streak to five games.
Creighton 78 Butler 64