In a matchup of two of the top 10 teams in the nation, the No. 8 Creighton Bluejays will travel to Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday to take on the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks as part of the Big 12/Big East Battle. The games tips at 5 pm ET so as to not compete with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Kansas is a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 148 points.
The two teams have not played since 1974 in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas leads the all-time series 9-6 and has won five of six games in Lawrence.
Creighton Has Some Question Marks
Creighton comes into the game with a perfect 3-0 record but has yet to play anyone of consequence on the young season. The Bluejays are led by All-American candidate Marcus Zegarowski (15 points, seven assists per game) and forward Christian Bishop.
Senior sharp-shooter Mitch Ballock has yet to get on track this season, connecting on just 29% of his three-point attempts on the season after shooting 40% for his career.
The Bluejays are just 1-2 against the spread on the season despite having played a very soft schedule with two of their three games going over the total.
Since 2015-16, the Bluejays are 4-4 against Top 25 teams in true road games when they also appear in the Top 25.
Kansas Needs McCormack To Step It Up
In a season where both Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun have stepped up in a big way for coach Bill Self, big man David McCormack has yet to impress. The graduation of Udoka Azubuike has left a huge void in the Kansas frontcourt, and McCormack desperately needs to improve in terms of rebounding and rim protection if this Jayhawks team is going to meet its full potential.
On the perimeter, Marcus Garrett is one of the premier defenders in the nation. The 2019-20 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year is sure to give Zegarowski his most difficult matchup of the season.
The trio of Garrett, Ochai Agbaji and Jalen Wilson provides Self with a tremendous amount of length and defensive ability on the perimeter.
The Jayhawks are just 1-3 against the spread this season but are 10-0 straight up in their last 10 games at Allen Fieldhouse.
Garrett is the real game-changer here, as the Bluejays will only go as far as Zegarowski can take them. While Kansas will give the Creighton point guard fits, it is almost impossible to completely shut him down. It is more likely that they will simply impact his efficiency, which is still a win for the Jayhawks.
Ballock is a player that really has to play well for Creighton to win this game. The senior deep threat needs to stretch the defense as well as provide a scoring punch to keep up with a Kansas offense that’s averaging over 80 points per game.
Bishop is a player that McCormack should be able to keep in check on the block, so look for Kansas to keep a potent Creighton offense under control for the most part. Lay the points and take the over.
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