NCAA Tournament – Sweet 16
(1) No. 1 Gonzaga (28-0 ) vs. (5) No. 19 Creighton (22-8)
- Time: 11:10 am PST – 1:10 pm CST – 2:10 pm EST
- Place: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
- TV: CBS
No.1 Gonzaga matches up with Creighton for the lid-lifter of the four-game Sunday gamut that will spell the Elite Eight. The Bulldogs are four wins away from being the first team to win wire-to-wire since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.
The Bulldogs rolled past Texas Southern and Oklahoma last weekend as they are now 36-22 in the NCAA Tournament with 11 trips to the Sweet 16 as they also look for their fifth trip to the Elite Eight.
Creighton has won five out of it’s last six games after posting wins over UCSB and Ohio University last weekend. The Bluejays lead the series 6-4, but they have only met twice since 1977 as Gonzaga won both meetings in 2017 and 2018.
Vs. The Spread:
- The Bulldogs are 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of Gonzaga’s last 9 games
- Gonzaga is 8-1 SU in it’s last 9 games vs. the Big East
- The Bluejays are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Bluejays’ last 5 games
- The Jays are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games vs. WCC competition
Last Time Out
Drew Timme scored a career high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Gonzaga led by as many as 19 before fighting off an Oklahoma run to down the Sooners, 87-71, in the Round of 32. Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs added 16 points apiece as the Bulldogs shot 49.1 percent from the floor in winning their 28th in a row.
Creighton’s defense flexed on Ohio University as the Bluejays held the Bobcats to 31.8 percent from the floor and 23.8 percent from distance int taking a 72-58 win. Marcus Zegarowski led the Bluejays with 20 points as they find themselves in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 47 years.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Creighton||+13 (-105)||+750||O 158½ (-105)|
||-13 (-115)||-1200||U 158½ (-115)|
This offense is one of the most perfectly contrived entities in the history of college basketball as they are No.1 in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage and two-point field goal percentage. Creighton defensively doesn’t have the size to deal with Drew Timme (18.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) inside as he shoots 65.5 percent from the floor and plays well off the three-point game of Corey Kispert (19.2 ppg.), Joel Ayayi, Jalen Suggs, and Andrew Numbhard. As good as Marcus Zegarowski has been on the point for the Bluejays, the matchup with Suggs is the proverbial mismatch in size and skill.
Key Bulldogs Stat:
Gonzaga averages 49.5 points in the paint, which is the highest average over the past 15 seasons. Gonzaga has three of the five games this season where a team has scored 70 points in the paint. The have also had six games where they scored 60 points in the paint.
Gonzaga’s offense is so prolific that the defense doesn’t get the mad props that it deserves. The Bulldogs are ninth in defensive efficiency and they defend at a 41.7 percent clip. Zegarowski and his three-point production will be on the top of the defensive game plan as he hit 42.1 percent of his triples.
Zegarowski (15.7 ppg, 4.4 apg), an all-Big East first-teamer, scores and creates with peak consistency, but this is going to take a total team effort with a small margin for error. Senior wing Denzel Mahoney will be a key player for the Bluejays as he was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and may find himself rotating between Suggs and Kispert on the defensive end fo the floor. Damien Jefferson is another key wing as he runs on the perimeter with Zegarowski and also makes 36 percent of his triples.
Key Bluejays Stat:
Christian Bishop and Mitch Ballock are key role players for Coach Greg McDermott. Bishop shoots 68.1 percent on the season to lead the Big East and has double-doubles in both NCAA Tournament games. Ballock has 75 made threes which are two less than Zegarowski’s team leading 77.
The Bluejays are going to have to try to win this game with their offense as teams with better defenses have tried to slow Gonzaga down and failed miserably. Creighton led the Big East in making 36.5 three-point shots as well as 9.6 made threes and they shot 47.4 percent from the floor.
WINNER: Gonzaga (-13) 90, Creighton 72