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Creighton vs Villanova Game Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions

Creighton Win away from First Big East Title

Creighton’s run to the Big East title game figures to have made some of the bubble teams a tad bit nervous as the Blue Jays helped their March Madness odds with Friday’s win over Providence in the Big East semifinals.

Creighton is 5-1 in games decided by five points or less since the start of February. The Blue Jays haven’t needed any late-game heroics in wins against Marquette and Providence.

Players react Big East Final
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

It has been a different story for Villanova, which beat St. John’s by one point and UConn by three to reach the championship contest.

Villanova is most definitely in the March Madness bracket but Creighton would be well advised to earn the automatic bid with a win on Saturday.

Villanova is sixth in the NCAA NET rankings and is 16-7 in Quad 1 or Quad 2 games. Creighton jumped nine spots to 55th in the NET rankings.

Villanova is at +2500 in the odds to win the national championship.

Creighton Blue Jays Soar Past Top-Seeded Friars

What a difference a couple of weeks made for the Creighton men’s basketball team.

The last time the Blue Jays met Providence, the Blue Jays 31% including 19% from 3-point range as the Friars rolled to a 21-point win to wrap up the Big East regular-season title.

With a spot in the Big East final on the line, Creighton ripped off a 31-2 run to send the top-seeded Friars packing in an emphatic fashion.

Highlights: https://t.co/llZVbo2ahl

Interviews: https://t.co/JYsLurSKgE

Recap: https://t.co/UmppdK4VO5

Stats: https://t.co/o3Jn1RpPKi

Photos: https://t.co/BR18BRve4e

More Photos: https://t.co/H4QcaafWmp pic.twitter.com/migOkFtEdi

— Creighton Men’s Basketball (@BluejayMBB) March 12, 2022

Four starters scored in double figures led by Alex O’Connell’s 18 points, which is one more point than he had in the previous three games combined.

“We beat a really good team, a championship team,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said after the game. “We did it our way. We did it with defense.”

Arthur Kalama had 10 points as Creighton scored the final 17 of the final 19 points of the first half before ripping off the first 14 points of the second half and that was all she wrote for Providence.

It is uncertain what the March Madness predictions will look like if Creighton loses on Saturday but a win gives the Blue Jays the automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

Creighton is 4-2 against the Las Vegas odds in its last six games and 5-1 in the last six times when listed as the underdog.

Late Free Throws Lead Villanova Into Big East Title Game

Villanova is back in a familiar position as one of the two remaining teams in the Big East tournament.

The Wildcats had an eight-point lead on UConn midway through the second half before the Huskies came storming back. Villanova didn’t exactly put the game away as the Wildcats missed their final seven field-goal attempts but the best free-throw shooting team in the country hit three late foul shots to advance to the Big East final for the sixth time in the last seven tournaments.

Jermaine Samuels, who had two of those free throws, led the way with 21 points and 12 rebounds. One of the biggest differences in the game is that UConn missed five foul shots and Villanova just one.

With the starting backcourt of Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore combining for only 11 points, it was up to Samuels and some of the other Villanova players to shoulder more of the offensive burden.

“You’ve got to have other players, great players make plays,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “And that’s what makes us a good team.”

Villanova advances to play Creighton in a rematch of the 2017 Big East title game.

The total has gone under the college basketball spreads in five of Villanova’s last seven games against Creighton.

Creighton Blue Jays vs Villanova Wildcats Head-to-Head

Villanova has won two of the last three games against Creighton including a 75-41 home win on January 5 as the 10½-point favorite. Creighton won earlier in the season at home by 20 as a 7½-point underdog.

This is the first meeting in the Big East Tournament between the teams since Villanova’s 74-60 win in the 2017 championship game as the 10½-point favorite.

Something to consider for those who bet online, five of the last seven games in the series went under the total while Villanova has been favored in each of the last five meetings.

Creighton Blue Jays vs Villanova Wildcats Game Information

  • Game: Creighton (22-10) vs. Villanova (25-7)
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • Day/Time: Saturday, March 12, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Television: FOX

Creighton Blue Jays vs Villanova Wildcats Betting Lines

Creighton Blue Jays vs Villanova Wildcats Prediction

Villanova is 4-1 in the last five times it has advanced to the Big East championship game while Creighton has lost in each of its three championship game appearances.

This could be a defensive struggle as Villanova leads the Big East in scoring defense while Creighton is the conference leader in field-goal percentage defense.

The 6½-point spread seems a bit on the high side considering the way Creighton has been playing.

Pick: Villanova Wildcats -295

Pick: Creighton Blue Jays +7 (-110)

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