Will Xavier contain Doug McDermott?


Second-seeded Creighton takes on third-seeded Xavier in the Big East semifinals in New York City. Doug McDermott set a Big East tournament record with 27 first half points en route to 35 in Creighton’s 84-62 victory over DePaul yesterday. He also set the record for most points by a player in his Big East tournament debut.

McDermott, who also scored a career-high 45 points in Creighton’s regular season finale against Providence, needs 12 points to tie Keydren Clark from Saint Peter’s (2002-06) for sixth place on the Division I all-time scoring list. With 20 points against Xavier, McDermott can tie Harry Kelly (Texas Southern, 1979-83) for fifth place on the all-time list. Containing McDermott will be the primary focus for a Xavier team that beat Creighton 75-69 on March 1.

Not only did McDermott shine yesterday, but Jahenns Manigat had 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting and Austin Chatman added 11 points and nine assists. McDermott and Manigat combined to make 11 of 15 3-pointers while Ethan Wragge was 2 of 3 from 3-point range and also had a team-high eight rebounds. Something negative for Creighton from a shooting aspect is that McDermott, a nearly 86 percent foul shooter, was 0-for-2 from the free-throw line yesterday and is inexplicably 6-for-13 over his last three games. McDermott averaged 31 points and 8.5 rebounds in two matchups against Xavier during the regular season

Xavier is likely in good shape to make the NCAA tournament but they can seal the deal by beating Creighton for the second time this month. Justin Martin was the star in Xavier’s 75-69 victory over Creighton less than two weeks ago, posting 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds and he led Xavier with 19 points in yesterday’s three-point win against Marquette while Semaj Christon added 18 points and five assists. Martin’s 16 rebounds against Creighton on March 1 were twice as many as he has had in any other game this season.

According to the NCAAB Lines at OddsBay, Creighton is a 6-point favorite at most sportsbooks.

Game Details:

What: Xavier Musketeers (21-11) vs. No. 14 Creighton Bluejays (25-6)

When: 9:30 PM ET, March 14

Where: Madison Square Garden

Coverage: FOXS1

Line: Creighton -6

Total: 144½

Betting Trends:

– Xavier is 11-8 ATS against conference opponents

– Xavier is 14-10 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record

– Creighton is 16-12 ATS as a favorite

– Creighton is 9-6 ATS after scoring 80 points or more

– The total has gone OVER in six of the last seven games in this series

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