Creighton (8-0) at Nebraska (5-3)
When: Wednesday, December 7th 2016
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, NE
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: Big Ten Network
The Creighton Blue Jays look to continue their dominance over their in-state rivals the Nebraska Cornhuskers when the two meet on Wednesday night in Lincoln. Creighton has won the last five meetings and 14 of the last 17 overall. The 10th-ranked Bluejays continued their best start in 13 years Saturday with an 82-70 home victory over Akron and bring the fifth-highest scoring team in Division I (90.8 points) to Pinnacle Bank Arena. Junior Marcus Foster (team-best 19.4 points) and senior Maurice Watson Jr. (12.0 points, 9.0 assists per game – second in Division I) make-up one of the best backcourts in the nation. Foster scored a season-high 29 points against the Zips, while Watson set a CenturyLink Center record with 13 assists to go with his 14 points. Freshman forward Justin Patton (12.8 points, 6.8 rebounds) ranks third in the country in field-goal percentage (78.9) and is 22-for-25 from the field over his last three games. Khyri Thomas (13.8 points, team-high 1.8 steals) ranks second in the Big East in 3-point percentage (54.2) and sixth in field-goal percentage (60.9). The Bluejays have won 10 of their last 11 against Big Ten opponents including nine double-digit victories. Creighton defeated No. 17 Wisconsin 79-67 on November 15th.
Nebraska is in the middle of a brutal stretch that included an 11-point loss to UCLA over Thanksgiving weekend and a trip to No. 3 Kansas coming up on Saturday. The Cornhuskers managed to pull out a victory over South Dakota over the weekend and now sit at 5-3. Leading scorer Tai Webster (16.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals) set a career high in assists with nine against the Coyotes on Saturday and is one of only two Big Ten players averaging 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Glynn Watson Jr. ranks second on the team in scoring (13.8) and assists (3.1), and he leads the conference in steals (2.4), including at least four in three of his last five games. Sophomore forwards Michael Jacobson (6.1 points, six rebounds per game) and Jack McVeigh (8.9, 4.4) each upped their games versus South Dakota. Jacobson posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 boards, while McVeigh contributed 16 points. Nebraska, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring defense (62.5), has held each of its last four opponents to more than 14 points below their season average.
There’s just too much talent on this Creighton squad especially the backcourt for Nebraska to handle. The Blue Jays own the Big Ten right now and are a team that can go really deep into the tournament in March.
Pick: Creighton -4.5