2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 3 Creighton vs No. 6 Baylor
The No. 6 seeded team in the West region of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Baylor Bears, held on to defeat the No. 11 seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers to advance to the round of 32. Baylor dominated Nebraska for a majority of the game, but there were several stretches that the Cornhuskers looked like they could mount a comeback. The Bears must be wary of this when they face their next opponents on March 23, the No. 3 seeded Creighton Bluejays.
Creighton didn’t have the dominating performance over the No. 14 seeded UL- Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns that most people expected, but a win is a win, especially in a tournament that’s already seen teams like the Oklahoma Sooners, Duke Blue Devils and Cincinnati Bearcats fall. Doug McDermott, with 30 points and 12 rebounds, led the team to a 76 – 66 victory.
What to Watch For:
For Baylor, the season has been a tale of two teams. On one hand, the Bears are capable of making a run to the Final Four, but, on the other, sometimes they look like they wouldn’t make it far in the CBI. Whichever Baylor team shows up is going to decide this game. McDermott may be the best player in college basketball, but a fully functional Bears’ team requires a team effort to defeat.
However, Creighton is one of the most well coached teams in college basketball. Baylor couldn’t defeat the upper-level teams in the Big 12, so it will be a major test for the Bears to defeat a 2014 NCAA Tournament team that made it to the Big Dance on more than luck and conference bias – sorry, Nebraska.
As good as Baylor has been at times this season, they aren’t going to have an answer for McDermott. The Bears have struggled defending against top shooters in the Big 12, and they’ll struggle against the best shooter in college basketball. Expect a tough showing by Baylor, but a 30+ point game from McDermott to seal Creighton’s place in the Sweet Sixteen.
Creighton 75, Baylor 68