Rhode Island vs. Creighton Pick
In a game many expect an upset in, No. 6 Creighton will face No. 11 Rhode Island in the NCAA Tournament today at 4:30PM ET.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, this game is considered even, as neither team is being given any points. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 141 points. This game will take part in the Midwest Region and air on TBS from Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Rhode Island is red-hot coming into the tournament, winning their last eight games to improve to 24-9 on the season and claim the A-10 Tournament title. The Rams have covered the spread in six of their last seven games to move to 18-14 against the spread on the season. They average 73.4 points per game on offense while giving up just 64.9 on defense. E.C. Matthews has been leading the team with 14.9 points per game while Hassan Martin adds 14.1 points and 7 rebounds per contest.
Creighton has had a rough few weeks, losing five of their last nine games to fall to 25-9 on the season. The Bluejays have been struggling since losing starting guard Maurice Watson Jr. to a knee injury. He averaged 12.9 points and 8.5 assists during the season. The Bluejays are still 19-13 against the spread on the season, but 3-6 ATS in their last nine. Creighton averages 81.5 points per game for the season while allowing 72.6. However, in their last five the offense is producing just 74 points per contest. Marcus Foster is leading the team with 18.3 points per game while Justin Patton adds 13.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Rhode Island winning is the popular pick because of the injury to Watson Jr. His ability to create offense for the Bluejays was a big difference for the team. Now Creighton faces a very stingy Rhode Island defense that makes it difficult to get open looks and takes care of the glass. Creighton hasn’t been a great rebounding team as is, so that will be an issue. Without Watson manning the offense, I just don’t like Creighton’s chances against this defense. Finding good opportunities on offense will not be frequent and the Bluejays aren’t good enough to make the most of each opportunity they get.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: RHODE ISLAND EVEN