The Georgetown Hoyas didn’t even get out of the first round of last year’s Big East tournament. This year, they’re already in the quarterfinals and they hope to move to the semifinals with a victory over the Creighton Bluejays on the college basketball lines on Thursday night in New York.
The Creighton Bluejays can win because…
If Creighton can sustain some of the things it did in the first round of the Big East Tournament, it could win in the quarterfinals and create quite a stir in the Big Apple. Creighton, as the tenth and lowest seed at this tournament, pulled a surprise on Wednesday by beating seventh-seeded DePaul rather comfortably, 78-63. The Bluejays did three things really well. First, they committed only five turnovers. That’s always going to give a basketball team a pretty decent chance of winning. Next, if you don’t commit turnovers, can you then shoot at a reasonably high percentage? Creighton did, hitting 48 percent of its field goal attempts and 41.2 percent of its threes. When you get a lot of possessions, do you also get to the free-throw line with them? Creighton did, earning 30 free throws and making 21 of them. DePaul, by contrast, earned only 16 free throws and made only eight. Creighton outscored DePaul by 13 points from the foul line in a game it won by 15. That mattered.
Creighton got 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting from James Milliken. If Milliken can stay hot against Georgetown, the Jays have a chance. What’s also encouraging for Creighton is that its starting frontcourt of Toby Hegner, Geoffrey Groselle, and Rick Kreklow combined to score only 14 points against DePaul. They were not great. If they can all play much better, maybe such that Creighton can get 15 more overall points (in other words, 29) from that group of three players, victory over Georgetown becomes very realistic.
The Georgetown Hoyas can win because…
Georgetown is a much, much better team than Creighton. The Hoyas had an easy time of it during the regular season. They beat Creighton by 15 at home. That’s not really anything noteworthy. However, the Hoyas crushed the Jays by 27 on Creighton’s home court in Omaha, Nebraska. Georgetown held the Jays to only 40 points in that game and simply smothered Creighton. It’s really hard to see how the Bluejays have a way to overcome the Hoyas here.
Georgetown runs sound offensive sets. The Hoyas work hard to get good shots. They are third in the Big East in overall field goal percentage at 45.9, and two-point percentage at 50.7. Georgetown is also third in the Big East in points scored per possession, at 1.059.
On defense, the Hoyas are an elite team in terms of two-point shooting percentage defense. Georgetown’s opponents hit just 42.2 percent of two-point shots, making the Hoyas the best team in the Big East in that category and number 15 in the nation. The Hoyas are very strong, and Creighton doesn’t have a way to exploit Georgetown’s weaknesses.
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This is a number 10 seed from Creighton, going up against a number two seed in Georgetown. Everything would have to go just right for Creighton to even have a slight chance in this game. The Hoyas should be able to pull away in the last 10 minutes of this game, so take them with your NCAA Basketball picks.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Georgetown