Creighton vs. Kansas Odds, Picks: Your Betting Guide for Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Game
Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images. Pictured: Ochai Agbaji
Creighton vs. Kansas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Creighton Blue Jays showed their grit as they erased a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes and then edged out the San Diego State Aztecs in overtime to advance. However, they did not escape unsaved, and the losses in the process of their round of 64 victory may cast doubt over this matchup.
The Bluejays earned the right to face the Midwest's top seed, the Kansas Jayhawks. Bill Self's club looked every bit of how a top seed should as they throttled Texas Southern in a 27-point victory.
What was most impressive about Kansas' first-round performance was not the points they put up but how many they allowed. The Jayhawks' defensive performance was supreme, and if they want to make a title run, that is what they will need to carry over into this matchup.
Next Man Up Must Step Up for Bluejays
The Blue Jays' first-round win was a testament to their legitimacy as they proved the magic they found in the Big East Tournament was no fluke. However, for as big as their win was, whom they lost is even more significant.
Starting big man Ryan Kalkbrenner suffered a knee injury and will now miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament. This blow is substantial as the Blue Jays were already without Ryan Nembhard, who was the Big East Freshman of the Year.
However, Creighton may have just the guy to help supplement the offense. Freshman Trey Alexander led Creighton in scoring in its most recent victory and has proven he can be relied on since filling in for Nembhard.
Alexander entered the starting lineup in February and has put up double-digit scoring efforts in six of his twelve starts. It's possible that Alexander will make an impact once again as the Kansas is not the same caliber of defensive team that San Diego State is.
Look For Kansas to Capitalize on Injuries
The Jayhawks had their offense humming in the first round as they put up 83 points and posted a 58 percent Effective Field Goal percentage. However, the one man was not a much of a factor in the first game poses to be a significant factor in this one.
David McCormack will be the key to the Jayhawks' offense in this one. After Kalkbrenner went down, Creighton was forced to go small with its lineup as it didn't have anyone to replace his Kalkbrenner's size. That is a problem against McCormack. The veteran big man was the fourth-best offensive rebounder in the nation this season and was an automatic double-double threat against any team that couldn't match up.
The extra possessions that McCormack will create in this one can potentially break Creighton early on. Even with their big man, the Bluejays were 195th in Defensive Rebounding Rate.
Creighton vs. Kansas Betting Pick
The injuries are mounting for Creighton, and it is no easy task to face Kansas at full strength. This may be an insurmountable challenge without two of the Blue Jays' best three players.
Kansas has all the edges heading into this matchup, and while I expect David McCormack to make a big impact, it helps to have the Big 12 Player of the Year, Ochai Agbaji, to fall back on.
Back the Jayhawks to roll into the Sweet 16 by at least a dozen.