Kansas State Clips Creighton in 8 vs. 9 Matchup

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 6:36 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018 6:36 PM UTC

On Friday night March 16th, our next stop in the South Regan is in Charlotte for a 6:50 local time start with No.8 Creighton doing battle No.9 Kansas State. Conference pride will also be on the line.

No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 9 Kansas StateSouth Region, Friday, 6:50 PM ETFree NCAAB Pick: Kansas StateBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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That is right it's the Big East vs. the Big 12. These kinds of matchups will determine just how strong each conference really is when it matters most and could influence college basketball picks later in the tournament.

The college basketball odds opened with Creighton at -2 and at last look the Bluejays had flown to -1.5 against K-State, with a total of 144.5. Does either team really have an edge or are oddsmakers right and this is a nail-biter?

Creighton a Scary Choice Away from Home

Despite losing a couple of very talented players last season, coach Greg McDermott saw his Creighton team (21-11, 14-16 ATS) get off to a spectacular start at 14-3. McDermott understands the offense and again had one of the more prolific scoring teams in the country at 84.3 points a game. Based on the pace of play, the Bluejays were ninth in the country and are always looking to advance the ball off a rebound, a made basket by the other team or after forcing a turnover.

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Creighton has earned a No. 8 seed with an at-large bid and will face No. 9-seeded Kansas State in the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship in Charlotte! #GoJays #LetItFly #MarchMadness

⬇️ MORE ⬇️https://t.co/ac3Zh3kyKO pic.twitter.com/hmOPAYrBcK

— Creighton Men’s Basketball (@BluejayMBB) March 11, 2018

However, the loss of forward Martin Krampelj with a torn ACL changed the chemistry of Creighton and since the start of February, they are 4-6 (2-7 ATS). If that is not worrisome enough, the Jays are 5-9 SU and 4-10 ATS when not playing in Omaha. Most teams do not play as well on the road but Creighton scoring average drops more than a dozen points to 77.2 PPG and they are almost defenseless in permitting 82.3 PPG.

Kansas State Has to Stick to Strengths

Most preseason publications had Kansas State (22-11, 14-16 ATS) tabbed for eighth in the Big 12 this season. Coach Bruce Weber might not be an elite recruiter or big-game coach, but he squeezes the most out of players talent and develops ways to make them fundamentally sound. That is how the Wildcats managed to finish fourth in the nightly Big 12 bloodbath.

Though K-State has offensive limitations at just 72.4 PPG, they offset that by being stronger on the other end of the floor where they limit opponents to only 67.9 PPG. Where Coach Weber's crew gets hurt is when shots go up and are missed. They are in the 320's nationally in defensive rebound rate and 230's in hunting down offensive rebounds.

Kansas State's Defense the Difference

Most every power rating I have says Creighton wins by two. I have one that measures recent performance and that one has Kansas State by two. When considering recent play, the Wildcats being the stronger defensive squad and the Bluejays road woes, I'll side with the small underdog. I would also like to add coach Weber in his career is 10-1 ATS in away games after a setback by 15 or more points.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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