Fade UL-Lafayette vs. Creighton: NCAA Tournament

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 7:50 PM GMT

The Creighton Bluejays just completed their first season in the Big East Conference, which will benefit them in taking on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Friday.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Tournament odds for this second round matchup in the West Region at the AT&T Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET on truTV.

A new chapter

Creighton missed out on capturing the Big East Tournament title, as it dropped a 65-58 decision to the Providence Friars as 7.5-point neutral-site favorites last Saturday, but the program accomplished a lot in its first year away from the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Bluejays are one of the more dynamic offensive teams in the country, as they rank first nationally in three-point shooting percentage, while they trail just two teams in knocking down shots from inside the arc.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 12-5 SU and 8-7-2 ATS in March, with the OVER going 8-6 in that situation.

Quite a run 

Louisiana won 11 of its final 13 games to clinch a spot in the Big Dance for the first time in nearly a decade, as it picked up a 82-81 overtime victory over top-seeded Georgia State in the Sun Belt championship game Sunday.

Despite having five starters returning from a season ago, Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Bob Marlin has yet to have that group together to open up a game during the 2013-14 campaign.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 5-6 SU and 6-5 ATS as underdogs this season.

Player of the Year

The Bluejays are going to attract some action in the futures market to win their first national title, as they possess a major offensive weapon in senior forward Doug McDermott, who is the favorite to walk away with every Player of the Year award that’s handed out.

McDermott leads the nation in scoring 26.9 points per game—entering this event with 3,105 career points.

Take a look at the top NCAAB Tournament Betting Lines

Shooting numbers

The Ragin’ Cajuns are 19-0 SU when outshooting opponents from the floor this season, but have dropped 11 of 15 games when coming up short in that all-important statistical category.

Louisiana has played better on the defensive end during Sun Belt play, but it’s important to point out that the program allowed 113 points at Louisville during non-conference play—a number that Creighton is capable of reaching.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bluejays as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the coaching staff and players will find it easy to prepare for an new opponent after doing it the entire year in the Big East.

Pick: Creighton Bluejays -13.5

[gameodds]14/262067/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]