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Creighton vs. Alabama - 3/15/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Alabama Crimson Tide (18-14) at Creighton Bluejays (18-14)

College Basketball: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm (CenturyLink Center)

The Line: Creighton Bluejays -7 -- Over/Under: 140.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Creighton Bluejays will square off at CenturyLink Center Omaha this Tuesday night in the 1st round of the NIT.

The Alabama Crimson Tide couldn’t pull off the upset of the Kentucky Wildcats in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament and finished their season with an 18-14 record while earned them a 5-seed in the NIT Tournament. Alabama had a solid season under their 1st year head coach, Avery Johnson, and although they were outstanding on the defense end ranking in the top-100 in both scoring defense and defensive FG%, the Crimson Tide did have trouble finding ways to score the basketball. On the season, Alabama was led by Retin Obasohan (17.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.4 spg), Shannon Hale (10.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg), and Riley Norris (7.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg). Offensively, Alabama is averaging 66.8 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field and 34.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Crimson Tide average 7.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.79. Defensively, Alabama is holding their opponents to an average of 67.8 ppg on 40.7% shooting. The Crimson Tide average 5.3 blocks per game and have a turnover margin of -1.2.

Creighton vs. Alabama - 3/15/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Creighton Bluejays couldn’t make a run in the Big East Tournament as they lost to the eventual champions, the Seton Hall Pirates, in the quarterfinals and finished their regular season with an 18-14 record earning a 5-seed in the NIT Tournament. Creighton has one of the better offensive attacks in the country as they ranked 32nd in scoring offense and 41st in FG%, however, struggled defensively and lost 5 of their last 6 games in the season that took them out of contention for the NCAA Tournament. On the season, Creighton has been led by Maurice Watson Jr. (14.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.6 apg), Cole Huff (11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg), and Geoffrey Groselle (10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg). Offensively, Creighton is averaging 79.6 ppg on 46.8% shooting from the field and 35.2% shooting from beyond the arc. The Bluejays average 8.2 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.33. Defensively, Creighton is allowing their opponents to an average of 73.0 ppg on 43.9% shooting. The Bluejays have a rebound margin of 1.2 and a turnover margin of 1.2.

The Crimson Tide are 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games following a ATS loss and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Bluejays are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 15-6 ATS in their last 21 home games.

Alabama got some better scoring contributions from Arthur Edwards and Justin Coleman during the SEC Tournament but still struggled offensively overall as a team. Creighton had a brutal schedule down the stretch but was competitive in losses at Providence, at Xavier, and in the Big East Tournament against Seton Hall. I’m intrigued to see the effort level that Alabama will bring to this one but as they had a losing record on the road this season, I think Creighton will be able to score enough on their home court to cover this spread. Take Creighton to cover. 

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Creighton Bluejays -7

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