Providence vs #8 Creighton

Providence vs #8 Creighton | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 19, 2021

As things stand now, Providence is definitely an NCAA Tournament bubble team and on the wrong side of it. The Friars look to boost their Big Dance resume with an upset at No. 8 Creighton on Wednesday. The Bluejays will be clear-cut favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Providence at Creighton NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
  • When: Wednesday, 9 PM ET
  • Where: CHI Health Center Omaha
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Creighton will be favored)
Last Meeting

On Jan. 2, Creighton won 67-65 at Providence. Christian Bishop had a go-ahead dunk with 0.8 seconds left. Marcus Zegarowski, who had the assist on Bishop’s dunk, had six 3-pointers and 20 points. “I wanted to get it out as quick as possible. I knew they would try to deny me,” Zegarowski said. “In practice we always teach pace and crossing the court, and that’s exactly what I did. … Christian made a hell of a play to win the game for us.” The Friars struggled to find their shot, connecting on 34% (22 of 65) of their attempts for the game. They also played the second half without Jared Bynum, who sat with an undisclosed injury.

Why Bet on Providence?| 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Friars have had four games postponed due to opponents having COVID issues (Xavier on Dec. 12, UConn on Dec. 17, DePaul on Dec. 17 and Georgetown Jan. 16).

Providence last played on Jan. 12 and lost 79-69 at Marquette, its third straight defeat. Providence finished 24-59 (40.7%) from the field, 9-19 (47.4%) from three, and 12-15 (80.0%) from the free throw line. Marquette finished 27-58 (46.6%) from the field, 7-24 (29.2%) from three, and 18-24 (75.0%) from the free throw line.

The Friars finished with four players in double-figures. Nate Watson scored a team-high 18 points for the Friars. David Duke finished with 17 points and nine assists in 40 minutes of game action. A.J. Reeves and Jimmy Nichols, Jr. added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

On Wednesday, the Friars are playing the third of four consecutive road games. They are 1-3 in their last four games, but have shot 48 percent (37-77) from three-point territory in those games. The Friars are 0-1 versus ranked teams this season and will play two games this week versus ranked opponents.

Providence has posted a 16-12 mark all-time versus the Bluejays, including a 10-9 record since Creighton joined the BIG EAST in 2013-14. The Friars are 9-4 at home versus Creighton, 5-6 on the road and 2-2 in neutral arenas.

Sophomore guard Jared Bynum suffered a lower body injury on Jan. 2 vs. Creighton. He has missed the last two games since the injury. His status is day-to-day. Watson (238 pts) and Duke (259 pts) have scored 52 percent (497 pts) of the team’s 964 points this season. Nine other players have combined to score 467 points.

Why Bet on Creighton? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Creighton was upset at Butler 70-66 in overtime on Saturday as the Bulldogs rallied from down as many as 13. Butler’s Aaron Thompson scored 17 points and found Bryce Nze for the go-ahead layup with 68 seconds left in overtime, and played shutdown defense late.

The Bluejays looked like they would pull away in this one when they extended the margin to 13. But instead of putting it away, they gave it away. Denzel Mahoney’s flagrant foul late in regulation opened the door for Butler, and the Bluejays never really recovered. Starting point guard Marcus Zegarowski missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury.

Creighton scored the first four points of overtime thanks to five straight defensive stops, but the hosts responded with the next eight points to go up 70-66 and ice the game on a free throw with 12.1 left by Chuck Harris.

“I thought we understood what we had to take away from Butler, but obviously Thompson got us and Nze had a couple of back-breakers,” Bluejays coach Greg McDermott said. “Give Butler credit, they played a heck of a game.”

Mahoney had 29 points to lead all scorers. Also in double-figures were Damien Jefferson (12) and Christian Bishop (10). Bishop added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Creighton made just 6-of-23 three-pointers and had 13 turnovers in the contest.

Creighton had been 6-0 all-time as a ranked team against Butler. Creighton fell to 1-1 this season in overtime games.  Marcus Zegarowski (14.1 ppg., 4.8 apg.) was named Preseason Big East Player of the Year and is a Preseason All-American by nearly every outlet after averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists per game last season. It’s not clear if he will return for this one.

Creighton leads the Big East with 81.9 points per game and is also tops in field goal percentage (.494), three-point percentage (.380) and field goal percentage defense (.396).

Expert Prediction
  • Creighton 80, Providence 71
 
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