NCAA Picks and Tips: Wichita State Shockers vs Creighton Bluejays
Saturday, February 11, 2012
by Mike Stewart
With four conference games remaining, No. 15 Creighton Bluejays finds itself one game behind opponent Wichita State Shockers in the Missouri Valley Conference and facing a must-win game. Considered a lock to make the NCAA Tournament, Creighton’s seeding took a hit over the last week with back-to-back road losses to Northern Iowa and Evansville. Two wins in that span by Wichita State vaulted the Shockers into first. In the last matchup, Creighton trailed by eight at halftime in Wichita, but dominated the second half, winning 68-61.
Wichita State Shockers (21-4): The Shockers have won 11 of their last 12 and have all the looks of a team worthy of an at-large bid. Wichita State's only loss in that span came in triple overtime at Drake. Since sitting out one game with a back injury, 7-foot center Garrett Stutz (14.3 points per game) is averaging 21.8 over the last five games. Stutz was held to five points and four rebounds against Creighton. Toure’ Murry, a preseason All-Valley pick, is third on the team in scoring with 12.4 points.
Creighton Bluejays (21-4): The Bluejays have built their success on solid post play and stellar outside shooting. Doug McDermott has kept his end of the bargain averaging 19.5 points and 10 rebounds in the two losses. However, Josh Jones, Grant Gibbs and Jahenns Manigat were a combined 1 for 18 from beyond the arc as Creighton's high-powered offense was held to back-to-back season lows for points. The shooters need to get back on track, which could be tough against the Shockers, who lead the MVC in defending the 3-point line.
1. Creighton and Wichita State are 1-2 in the Valley in scoring. ... The Bluejays are 18-0 when scoring at least 72 points.
2. Wichita State won the NIT last year, but hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2006. Creighton last made the NCAA in 2007
3. Wichita State starts four seniors with Stutz, Murry, Joe Ragland and Ben Smith. Creighton has only one scholarship senior in point guard Antoine Young.
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Bluejays 76, Shockers 72
- NCAA 2012 March Madness Prediction: Creighton at North Carolina
- NCAA Tournament Picks: Creighton Bluejays vs North Carolina Tar Heels
- NCAA March Madness Picks: Alabama vs Creighton
- NCAA Basketball Odds: Drake Bulldogs and Wichita State Shockers
- BracketBusters Picks: Wichita State Shockers at Davidson Wildcats