NO. 21 CREIGHTON (10-2) AT WICHITA STATE (10-2)
Time/TV: 6 p.m./ESPNU
Location: Charles Koch Arena
Line: Wichita State -6.5
Creighton Players to Watch: F Doug McDermott, So. (24.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg); C Gregory Echenique, Jr. (8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg); PG Antoine Young, Sr. (10.8 ppg, 4.3 apg). McDermott fell to second in the nation in scoring after a 19-point performance in the Blue Jays’ loss to Missouri State.
Wichita State Players to Watch: PG Toure’ Murry, Sr. (12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 apg); G David Kyles, Sr. (10.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg); C Garrett Stutz, Sr. (11 ppg, 6.8 rpg). Murry is one of the most well-rounded point guards in America.
Storylines: Coming into the season, the Blue Jays and Shockers figured to fight for the Missouri Valley title. Nothing has changed. Wichita State has won eight consecutive, including a 90-51 triumph at Bradley in its MVC opener, after losing back-to-back games in San Juan early. Creighton can’t afford another loss after a shocking home defeat at the hands of Missouri State in its league opener.
Keys to Victory: The key for Wichita State – as always – is keeping Stutz out of foul trouble and on the floor. Murry is one of the best offensive players in the MVC, but McDermott is clearly the league’s top offensive threat. The Shockers better not let Creighton stick around or McDermott could take over late.
The Bottom Line: Both teams are top-25-type teams, but Creighton has a chance to be special. With McDermott, Young and Echenique, the Blue Jays have the experience and talent to pull off a minor upset and reestablish themselves as the MVC favorites.
The Pick: Creighton 89, Wichita State 84.