A shootout should be expected when the Creighton Bluejays (19-9, 8-7 Big East) and the No. 3 Villanova Wildcats (25-3, 12-3 Big East) square off at CenturyLink Center Omaha. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Villanova Wildcats at Creighton Bluejays Free Preview
The last time the Wildcats played, they dismantled the DePaul Blue Demons, 93-62. Mikal Bridges was the top scorer from either team with 27 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Villanova played a nearly perfect game. They had a great free throw rate of 0.263 (above their season average of 0.225) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.684 (above their season average of 0.602). For those same stats, DePaul was 0.000 and 0.463, respectively.
The Bluejays are hoping for a better outcome after their 93-70 loss to the Butler Bulldogs in their last matchup. Mitch Ballock was Creighton’s leading scorer with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Butler forced the Bluejays into a turnover percentage of 18.1 (above their season average of 14.0). Creighton, on the other hand, had a much better free throw rate (0.182 vs. 0.074).
This battle figures to be a high-scoring affair as two of the nations top offenses square off. Creighton currently ranks 21st with 116.0 points per 100 possessions and Villanova is first (124.9). Ball security should be an advantage for the Wildcats. They rank 9th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 14.8 percent). Conversely, the Bluejays force the 31st-fewest turnovers in the NCAA (opponents turnover percentage of 16.0 percent).
Omari Spellman has been impressive over the last five games for Villanova, averaging 13.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The Wildcats won 98-78. The Wildcats played a nearly flawless game. They had a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 31.3 and a phenomenally low turnover percentage of 7.8. The Bluejays had marks of 10.7 and 11.5, respectively, for those same stats. Donte DiVincenzo had a stellar game, with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Villanova Wildcats at Creighton Bluejays Prediction
Free Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Creighton, ATS Winner – Creighton, O/U – Under
- The Wildcats rank 40th in blocks allowed per game (2.7) while the Bluejays rank 57th (2.9).
- Villanova ranks 14th in three pointers attempted per game (27.9) while Creighton ranks 208th in three pointers allowed per game (23.5).
- The Bluejays average 18.1 assists per game, which ranks sixth in the NCAA. The Wildcats rank 169th in assists allowed per game (13.9).
- Villanova ranks 10th in steals allowed per game (4.6) while Creighton ranks 107th (6.2).
- The Bluejays average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.2, down from 10.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 84.0 points per game (3.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 74.2 points per game (3.6 above their season average).