Creighton Bluejays vs. Xavier Musketeers Big East Tournament Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/14/14
Xavier Musketeers (21-11) at Creighton Bluejays (25-6)
College Basketball: Friday, March 14, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: Creighton Bluejays -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: Fox Sports One
The 14th ranked Creighton Bluejays look to punch a ticket to the conference finals with a matchup against the Xavier Musketeers Friday night at 9:30PM on Fox Sports One.
Creighton was on point on Thursday afternoon and played a near flawless game in a 84-62 thrashing of a tired DePaul team. The Bluejays broke the game open quickly and player of the year Doug McDermott was absolutely dominant on his way to 27 first half points and a 20 point halftime lead. McDermott finished with 35 points as his minutes were cut down in the second half and Manigat added 14 for the Bluejays. Creighton shot the ball 60% from the field, 63% from three and racked up 15 team assists in the contest. The Bluejays were aided by a 14 or so hour turnaround for DePaul, who rallied to beat Georgetown in a contest that ended just before midnight last night.
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Xavier advanced to Friday night action with a squeaker win over scrappy Marquette in the late game. Justin Martin scored 19 to lead the way for Xavier and Semaj Christon added 18, including the clinching free throw with just under 2 seconds remaining. The Musketeers let a comfortable lead evaporate as the second half wore on but got key free throws and buckets when they counted the most. The Musketeers forced 15 turnovers on Marquette and will need to be equally disruptive against a Creighton offense that is arguably the most efficient in the country.
With Villanova out of the picture, it is hard to bet against Creighton at this point. Even with Villanova in the mix, the Bluejays were still a favorite to win the tournament given the way they dominated Nova during the regular season. I expect Friday night to be no different as McDermott and company should be able to have their way on offense and use their depth to their advantage. I like 25+ for the player of the year and a big game from Gibbs at the point in bounce back fashion to push the Bluejays into the finals with the win. Check back for the line.