Creighton vs. Oregon expert picks: Spread, odds, projections for NCAA Tournament second-round game



Depth is often touted as an advantage come tournament time, but for Creighton and Oregon, the bench can better be described as an unnecessary piece. Creighton is favored over Oregon in Saturday’s second round of the NCAA Tournament, which features Oregon coach Dana Altman going up against his former team.

The Bluejay starters are no strangers to carrying a heavy load, ranking 355th in bench minutes this season, per KenPom, and they can make their second Sweet 16 in as many seasons. So, seeing Creighton’s top three gobble up 115 of the 120 available minutes against Akron in a 77-60 first-round win was no surprise.

The Ducks, on the other hand, have tightened their rotation during their surprising run through the Pac-12 tournament and over South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Jermaine Couisnard, Jackson Shelstad and N’Faly Dante combined to play 110 minutes in their opener. And it’s not just minutes they dominate. The trio scored 85.1 percent of Oregon’s points after scoring 74.6 percent in the Pac-12 title game. Couisnard dropped 40 points on his own.

Despite the similarities in production, the way Creighton puts up points is quite different. The Jays love to let it fly, ranking eighth in the country in 3-point rate while hitting 36.5 percent of those attempts. Against Akron in the first round, Creighton made 10 of its 17 long-range pulls. The Bluejays are 21-3 when hitting at least 30 percent of their 3-pointers.

Oregon, on the other hand, has only hit 30 percent or better from distance twice in the last nine games. The Ducks’ attack relies on efficient shooting near the rim and ball protection. They have a top-50 turnover rate and have shot over their season average in seven of the last eight games.

Defensively, Creighton will look to funnel attackers to Ryan Kalkbrenner, the Big East’s three-time defensive player of the year, with a pronounced drop coverage, tempting opponents to settle for mid-range attempts. It won’t look to force many turnovers, ranking last in the country, per KenPom, but should make up for that with solid rebounding.


What: Midwest Region, Second Round

Tipoff time: 9:40 p.m. ET Saturday

TV: TBS

Location: Pittsburgh

Creighton vs. Oregon odds

Odds are from BetMGM and update live. Find the best ticket deals on StubHub to see your favorite team.

Expert picks

Model projection: Creighton by 4.0, total 146.5

Players to watch

Creighton

  • Baylor Scheierman, senior guard, first-team All-Big East
  • Ryan Kalkbrenner, senior center, Big East Defensive Player of the Year, second-team All-Big East
  • Trey Alexander, junior guard, second-team All-Big East

Oregon

  • N’Faly Dante, senior center, first-team All-Pac-12
  • Jermaine Couisnard, senior guard, second-team All-Pac-12

More NCAA men’s basketball tournament coverage

(Photo of Dana Altman: Joe Sargent / Getty Images)





Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top