TV Schedule: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Arena: CenturyLink Center Omaha, Omaha, Neb.
Line: Xavier (-1)
Things are tight at the top of the Big East, as the Xavier Musketeers and Villanova Wildcats battle it out with the closest team two games behind both of them. Xavier, who has won five straight games, cannot afford to lose now, or Villanova could run away with the conference regular season title.
Next up for Xavier is a trip to Omaha to face off with the Creighton Bluejays, who have the potential to pull off the upset — at least according to the oddsmakers.
Creighton comes into this game having lost three of their last four, including a 25-point demolishing at the hands of Villanova. The Bluejays’ offense has looked great this season, but their shoddy defense is ranked No. 216 in the country in terms of points allowed per game. The problem with Creighton is that you never know which team that will show up. Will it be the team that defeated the Butler Bulldogs, or the team that lost by 10 at home to the Seton Hall Pirates?
Although the Musketeers are favored in this game by just one point, Creighton will have to play the defensive game of their lives to pull off the upset. Sure, the Bluejays are talented, but Xavier is beginning to peak and will not be slowed down. Edmond Sumner just came off his second 20-point game of the season, so the Musketeers could legitimately blow Creighton out if the Bluejays’ defense does not show up. Creighton is back on track to have success in the future, but the rest of this season could be a downward spiral.
Prediction: Xavier 80, Creighton 64