Creighton vs. Ohio Projected Odds: Our Spread, Total for NCAA Tournament Second Round
Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Mitch Ballock.
#5 Creighton vs. #13 Ohio Odds
How Creighton & Ohio Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
What To Know About Creighton
One of the 2020 Final Four dark-horse contenders returns an entire roster for the 2021 run. Creighton does have the ability to get incredibly hot from the field on offense. In their home win over Villanova, the Bluejays shot 71.4% (20-of-28) from 2-point range, and 46.2% (12-of-26) from beyond the arc.
Creighton has great guard play, led by preseason Big East Player of the Year Marcus Zegarowski (15.4 PPG, 4.4 APG, 39.5% 3P) and senior guard Denzel Mahoney (13.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 34% 3P). It’s one of the few teams with the offensive efficiency to match anyone in the country, ranking first in conference play in effective field goal percentage (55.6%) and 2-point efficiency (55.8%).
The Bluejays rarely turn the ball over and are much improved on defense. Creighton is second in the Big East in adjusted defensive efficiency and effective field goal percentage allowed.
The Greg McDermott suspension had potential to cause issues in the locker room, but it seems as if the team has moved on and used it as a potential rallying point based on their performance in the Big East tournament. Creighton is in a similar boat as Iowa. We know the offense will score every night (even with subpar offensive rebounding numbers), but can the defense get enough stops. It doesn’t have to be elite, just be at a top-50 level. If so, this team is a team worth considering for a final four run, although they do need to clean up their bizarre struggles from the free throw line.
What To Know About Ohio
The Bobcats feature an electric offense that ranks in the 93rd percentile in overall points per possession, per Synergy. They are a phenomenal passing team (top-25 in assists per made field goal) and rarely turn the ball over.
The star of the show is pro prospect Jason Preston — a wonderful facilitator who has also put up 46 points in two MAC tourney games on 19-27 shooting (7-11 from deep). Earlier this season, he went for 31 (with six rebounds and eight assists) in a one-point road loss at Illinois. He’s an absolute treat to watch.
However, it’s not just a one-man show for an offense that ranks 11th in 2-point FG%. Senior Dwight Wilson is an efficiency monster on the low block, and Ben Vander Plas (who dropped 26 against Toledo) is an extremely effective and versatile four. Preston also has reliable shooters to look for on the perimeter for a team that shoots over 36% from 3. Also, freshman Mark Sears has emerged into a reliable secondary point guard option as the season has progressed.
The Bobcats have struggled on the defensive end this year and can be attacked at the rim. However, they’ve certainly picked it up on that end since the start of postseason play. — Stuckey