Creighton at Villanova Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,February 24, 2017 8:25, EST in

No. 2 Villanova had a chance to clinch the Big East regular-season outright title earlier this week but was upset by Butler. So the Wildcats give it another shot on Saturday against No. 23 Creighton. Yet another loss for Villanova could cost it a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will be solid home favorites on college basketball spreads.

Creighton at Villanova Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 25, 3 PM ET
Where: The Pavilion, Villanova
TV: Fox
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Creighton / Villanova
Opening NCAAB Lines: Villanova favored by TBA

Why Bet On Creighton?

Earlier this year, Creighton star point guard Maurice Watson was lost to a season-ending injury, wrecking Creighton’s chances at a Final Four trip. Now comes word that police are investigating Watson in connection with an alleged sexual assault that took place in Omaha earlier in February. Creighton announced Wednesday that it suspended the injured senior more than a week ago for an undisclosed violation of university rules. A young woman, a Creighton student who was an acquaintance of Watson’s, accused him of sexually assaulting her. What this means is Watson won’t be able to hang around the team at all or be honored on Senior Day.

Creighton (22-6, 9-6) comes off a 68-66 upset loss to Providence. Kyron Cartwright hit a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left. Cartwright’s heroics capped a game-ending 6-0 run by the Friars and was the only lead in the final 16 minutes of the game for Providence.

“This one obviously stings,” Bluejays coach Greg McDermott said, before noting that the Jays had a 34-16 point advantage in the paint, won the turnover battle (plus-3), hung in on the rebounding battle (minus-2) and had an 11-0 edge in fast-break points.

After Cartwright’s 3-pointer, junior forward Toby Hegner launched a full-court inbounds pass, which got tipped and landed in CU guard Khyri Thomas’ hands. But his shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim to end it. The Bluejays were led by 18 points from Marcus Foster while Justin Patton added 17 points and six rebounds. Thomas added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds for CU. The Bluejays shot 43.9 percent for the game, including 6-of- 16 from three-point range.

The 13 point deficit overcome is the largest ever by a Creighton opponent at CenturyLink Center Omaha. Foster (18.6 ppg.) leads the Bluejays in scoring, and is averaging the most points by a Bluejay newcomer since Cyril Baptiste in 1969-70. He’s scored 12 points or more in all but two games so far. Creighton ranks second in the nation in field goal percentage, connecting at a 52.2 percent clip. Only UCLA (53.3 percent) and unbeaten Gonzaga (51.4 percent) are over 51 percent through games of Sunday.

Why Bet On Villanova?

This will be Villanova’s final game on its on-campus arena for a year as it will undergo renovations. The University’s Board of Trustees announced last week that a renovation on the facility will begin in June. When the building reopens in the fall of 2018, it will be re-branded as the Finneran Pavilion.

The Cats (26-3) were upset by Butler 74-66 on Wednesday. Villanova was still a 10-point favorite, defending NCAA champion, winner of seven in a row and featuring a 48-game winning streak inside its Pavilion. Nova’s seniors were 45-0 there before Wednesday. Butler had beaten Villanova once before, back on Jan. 4 when the Wildcats were ranked No. 1.

This time, the Bulldogs sank 10 3-pointers, shot 60 percent in the second half and finished with 21 assists on 27 field goals. Andrew Chrabascz had eight assists by himself, equaling the entire Villanova team. The Bulldogs held the nation’s third-rated offense without a point for 6 ½ minutes and limited Villanova to 25 percent from the 3-point line. With Villanova leading by seven with 10:30 remaining, Butler scored the game’s next 18 points to take a 60-49 lead. Sophomore Jalen Brunson scored 24 points for the Wildcats while Josh Hart added 18 points and six rebounds.

“That was a great college game,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “They’re a really good team – no surprise. They just played better than us in every phase of the game. We turned the ball over 15 times and a lot it was their physicality defensively. They out-rebounded us (32-31).”

Villanova beat Creighton 80-70 on New Year’s Eve in Omaha. Brunson scored a career-high 27 points, including 11 in a row as the Wildcats wiped out their early deficit. The game marked only the second time in Big East history that two unbeaten teams met in a conference game. Kris Jenkins added 21 points and Hart had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats. Foster led the Bluejays with 22 points.

Creighton at Villanova Expert Pick: Villanova Wildcats

No chance Villanova loses a second straight at home and their final game in the building until 2018. Go Cats.