When what some individuals favor to name the “new Big East” was fashioned prematurely of the 2013-14 season – principally, that’s a time period utilized by individuals who spent a whole lot of time across the “previous Big East – there was some dialogue relating to whether or not it will be prudent to ask Gonzaga to affix.
Gonzaga is likely one of the greatest basketball applications in any convention. The Zags would have been a prize for the Big East. But nevertheless massive the Big East is perhaps, it most likely was a stretch to aim to annex Spokane, Wash.
So as a substitute we get Gonzaga vs. Creighton within the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Gonzaga enters because the No. 1 total seed within the event, nonetheless carrying an undefeated file, and Creighton arrives having defeated two mid-major opponents after shedding by a boatload of factors within the Big East Tournament remaining.
So we don’t know if the Blue Jays have repaired all that went incorrect within the championship game towards Georgetown. They beat two wonderful groups, UC Santa Barbara and Ohio U., however neither presents the kind of problem that arrives in Gonzaga uniforms.
The Zags are the most effective crew within the nation. Whether they are going to be champions will probably be determined in 4 video games. Or fewer.
Here’s every thing to find out about betting on Gonzaga vs. Creighton within the 2021 NCAA Tournament, together with up to date odds, developments and our professional’s prediction for the Sweet 16 game.
Gonzaga vs. Creighton odds
- Spread: Gonzaga by 13.5
- Over/below: 158
- Moneyline: Gonzaga -1100, Creighton +700
Three betting developments to watch
— Depending on how one classifies BYU, Gonzaga is 5-1 ATS in video games towards major-conference opponents. (The Zags didn’t cowl in any of their three victories over BYU).
— Creighton has been an underdog solely thrice beforehand this season and was 2-1 in these video games.
— No undefeated crew has misplaced a Sweet 16 game since 1971, when Marquette fell to Ohio State within the Mideast Region semifinals. Eight groups took good data into this spherical since and superior to the regional finals.
Gonzaga key gamers
Guard Jalen Suggs may very well be the No. 1 total choose within the 2021 NBA Draft, relying on who holds it and what kind of participant they want to land. He is probably the most full guard prospect in Division I, with the elite athleticism one would need from a contemporary NBA participant in addition to a stable taking pictures stroke and the flexibility to ship a scoring cross on the right track. Wing Corey Kispert is a greater shooter within the faculty game. Big man Drew Timme shouldn’t be an above-the-rim man and infrequently takes his game to the perimeter, however he has a fantastic knack for scoring within the submit and strikes nimbly sufficient to defend away from the basket.
Creighton key gamers
Shooter Mitchell Ballock may very well be the important thing participant for Creighton, despite the fact that he is available in because the crew’s fifth-leading scorer. He hits 39.5 p.c of his threes, and he had massive days in a number of the crew’s greatest wins (20 towards Villanova, 29 towards Seton Hall). Point guard Marcus Zegarowski was a first-team All-Big East alternative. The undersized Blue Jays begin two different 6-5 gamers (Damien Jefferson and Denzel Mahoney) and 6-7 Christian Bishop at heart. Bishop excels at utilizing his ballhandling capacity to drive it on larger defenders.
Best particular person matchup: Kispert vs. Mahoney
It’s troublesome to know which of Creighton’s perimeter gamers will match up with Kispert, however let’s begin right here as a result of containing Kispert is so essential to staying within the game with the Zags. Few have completed both, after all, however when BYU held a double-digit lead at halftime of the WCC championship game, Kispert had scored solely three factors. He rapidly warmed up within the second half and wound up scoring 14 within the remaining 20 minutes. Kispert is taking pictures 54.5 p.c from the sector and 45.8 p.c on threes. Attempting to disclaim Kispert his favored spots on the ground, notably simply to the proper of the highest of the important thing, is essential to containing the Gonzaga assault. Mahoney has not had his greatest taking pictures yr and related solely on 32.8 p.c from deep. But he has the power to hassle Kispert and maybe even issues up a bit.
Gonzaga vs. Creighton stat to know
Creighton is properly often known as a 3-point taking pictures crew largely due to the trio of Zegarowski, Ballock and Mahoney, who’ve mixed to make 205 threes this season. But the Blue Jays truly are a more practical crew on 2-point makes an attempt, the place they rank tenth within the nation in comparison with 52nd in 3-point accuracy, based on KenPom.com. The 3-point shot is essential to the Blue Jays assault, however they rank thirty second within the share of their area aim makes an attempt which are from 3-point vary. So it’s not like that’s their solely approach to rating.
Get to know … Marcus Zegarowski
Zegarowski led Creighton to a share of the Big East title as a sophomore and was projected as an All-American within the preseason. There was a slight decline in his key stats (15.7 ppg, 4.4 apg). The Blue Jays have been barely much less efficient as a crew with out guard Ty-Shon Alexander, who turned professional after final season and has spent a lot of the yr within the G League. So it wasn’t the dream season many imagined, however this one’s not solely ending within the NCAA Tournament, Creighton is enjoying within the Sweet 16. Zegarowski has been a greater participant in March Madness, averaging 18.5 factors and 5 assists by way of two rounds.
Gonzaga vs. Creighton prediction
After what Gonzaga heart Drew Timme did to Oklahoma in a second-round game Monday, which has a number of massive man together with a legit shot-blocker in 6-10 Kur Kuath, Creighton is confronted with a troublesome job defending the submit. Timme was 9-of-12 from the ground and scored 30 factors, and he additionally handed for 4 assists. Creighton begins 6-7 Christian Bishop on the heart spot. They do have a shot-blocker in Ryan Kalkbrenner to return off the bench, however he’s skinny and inexperienced and will wrestle to take care of Timme’s balletic footwork. Creighton’s greatest probability: make a whole lot of photographs and discover away to make the Zags depressing on the perimeter. They guard the 3-point line very properly. They’ll must to be able to have an opportunity.
Final rating: Gonzaga 89, Creighton 75