Preview: Creighton vs. Gonzaga

Game Creighton Bluejays vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date: March 28th, 2021 2:10 PM
TV: CBS
Spread: GONZ -12.5 Open -13.5
Total: 159 Open 158.5

Preview

Creighton Offense vs. Gonzaga Defense

The Bluejays are ranked 25th nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. Creighton shoots 55.7 percent on twos and 36.1 percent on threes for a 55 effective field goal percentage.

Gonzaga’s defense is ranked 4th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents shoot 46.6 percent on twos and 32.2 percent on threes for a 47.2 effective field goal percentage against the Bulldogs.

Basics
  • Creighton’s offense enters the tournament on a cold streak. Over the last 30 days, the Bluejays are ranked 120th in adjusted offensive efficiency compared to 25th for the year.
  • Creighton is one of the most experienced teams in college basketball, averaging 2.24 years of experience weighted by minutes played, per KenPom.com.
  • Creighton is one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in college hoops, making just 64 percent of its freebies.
Extra Possessions
Shot Profile
  • Creighton’s offensive attack is perimeter-oriented. The Bluejays attempt 44 percent of their shots from 3-point range. The Bluejays also make a lot of those attempts, shooting 36 percent from outside the arc.
  • Creighton is one of the best teams in the country at finishing around the basket. The Bluejays shoot 64 percent at the rim and Gonzaga allows 53 percent shooting inside of five feet.
  • Gonzaga’s defense does a terrific job of funneling offensive players into pull-up 2-point attempts. Bulldogs opponents attempt 29 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 37 percent clip. Creighton’s offense shoots 40 percent on its mid-range attempts.
Style
  • Creighton has an elite transition offense and scores 14.5 points per game in transition, while Gonzaga’s transition defense has been run of the mill and allows 10.5 points per game in transition.
  • Gonzaga’s defense excels at preventing assisted field goals and forcing one-on-one play with a style of “no help” defense popularized by Luke Yaklich. The Bulldogs only allow their opponents to record assists on 43.4 percent of made baskets.

Gonzaga Offense vs. Creighton Defense

The Bulldogs are ranked 1st nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. Gonzaga shoots 63.6 percent on twos and 37.4 percent on threes for a 61.1 effective field goal percentage.

Creighton’s defense is ranked 31st nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents shoot 46.7 percent on twos and 31.7 percent on threes for a 47 effective field goal percentage against the Bluejays.

Basics
  • The Bulldogs are one of the biggest teams in the NCAA Tournament with an average height of 78.13 inches according to KenPom.com.
  • The Bulldogs have a notable size advantage on the inside, their power forwards and centers rank in the 78th percentile in height compared to Creighton’s bigs which rank in the 18th percentile.
  • Gonzaga plays as fast as any team in the country. The Bulldogs average 75 possessions per game.
  • Gonzaga makes 74 percent of its free throws which should come in handy in a close game.
Extra Possessions
  • Gonzaga does a terrific job turning defense into offense. The Bulldogs score 19.4 points points per game off of turnovers. Creighton avoids turnovers for touchdowns, allowing only 11.7 points per game off of giveaways.
  • Gonzaga is unique because its guards are aggressive on the offensive glass. Perimeter players account for 34.8 percent of the Bulldogs’ offensive boards. That should put extra pressure on Creighton’s perimeter players to clean up the glass.
Shot Profile
  • Creighton allows opponents to attempt 39 percent of their shots from 3-point range. The Bluejays have gotten a bit lucky so far this season as opponents only make 32 percent of their threes. On the year, Gonzaga is shooting 37 from outside and attempts 33 percent of its shots from long distance.
  • Gonzaga dominates the paint. The Bulldogs score 49.5 points and allow 30.3 points per game in the paint, outscoring teams by 19.2 points per game.
  • Gonzaga is one of the best teams in the country at finishing around the basket. The Bulldogs shoot 71 percent at the rim and Creighton allows 54 percent shooting inside of five feet.
Style
  • Gonzaga loves to push the ball in transition. An impressive 22 percent of GONZ’s offensive plays are in transition and those transition plays create 18.5 points per game. Creighton’s defense does a great job of limiting transition opportunities and only allows 9.0 points per game in transition.
  • Modern basketball is a ball screen game and Gonzaga’s offense is no exception. The Bulldogs score 28.8 points per game out of ball screens and average 1.03 points per ball screen play. Creighton’s defense excels at defending ball screens, allowing just 0.74 points per play which should set up a key strength-on-strength matchup.
  • Gonzaga has one of the most dominant post-up offenses in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 11.1 points per game on 1.18 points per post-up play. Creighton’s defense should be up to the challenge, allowing 0.8 points per post-up play.

Bottom Line

Will we see an upset? Bart Torvik gives Creighton a 15 percent chance of advancing and predicts a 86-74 final score.

CREI Personnel

#11 Marcus Zegarowski

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
15.8 3.6 4.3 114.2 23.2% 57.9%

#34 Denzel Mahoney

Role: Spot Up Wing
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Poor Finisher Takes Tough Shots Avoids Turnovers
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
12.5 4.1 1.7 98.4 22.3% 45.5%
❄️❄️❄️: Mahoney is averaging 8.6 points per game over the last 5 games. That’s 3.9 points below his season average.

#23 Damien Jefferson

Role: Tall Spot Up Wing
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 lbs

Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Efficient Shooter Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
11.9 5.4 2.4 109.0 20.5% 56.9%

#13 Christian Bishop

Role: Versatile Big
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 220 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Finisher Roll Man Non Shooter Defensive Rebounder Gets to the Line Efficient Shooter Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
11 6.4 1.2 114.8 21.9% 68.4%

#24 Mitch Ballock

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 lbs

Glue Guy Transition Scorer Catch and Shoot Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.9 3.2 2.6 114.0 14.2% 58.3%

GONZ Personnel

#24 Corey Kispert

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 220 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Off Screen Shooter Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
19 4.9 1.7 134.5 20.7% 66.7%

#2 Drew Timme

Role: Post Up Big
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 235 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Finisher Roll Man Non Shooter Offensive Rebounder Go-To Guy Gets to the Line Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
18.9 7.2 2.3 129.8 26.7% 66.7%

#1 Jalen Suggs

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Go-To Guy Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.8 5.3 4.4 108.8 25.5% 54.8%

#11 Joel Ayayi

Role: Reluctant Shooter
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 180 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Smart Shot Selection Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
12 7.1 2.8 128.8 16.4% 63.7%

#3 Andrew Nembhard

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 193 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.2 2.4 4.3 124.2 15.3% 56.1%

ATS

Gonzaga ATS Performance

This Season

Gonzaga is 14-13-1 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 15 of 28 Gonzaga games (53.6%) this season.

Gonzaga is 8-2-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 6 of Gonzaga’s 10 games on neutral floors (60%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/26/2020 vs. Kansas W, 102-90 -2.5 W 9.5 147.5 OVER 44.5
11/27/2020 vs. Auburn W, 90-67 14.5 W 37.5 158.5 UNDER -1.5
12/2/2020 vs. West Virginia W, 87-82 -7.5 L -2.5 154 OVER 15
12/19/2020 vs. Iowa W, 99-88 -3.5 W 7.5 173.5 OVER 13.5
12/21/2020 Northwestern State W, 95-57 -38.5 L -0.5 168 UNDER -16
12/22/2020 Northwestern State W, 95-78 -40.5 L -23.5 171.5 OVER 1.5
12/26/2020 vs. Virginia W, 98-75 -7 W 16 139.5 OVER 33.5
12/28/2020 Northern Arizona W, 88-58 -38.5 L -8.5 156.5 UNDER -10.5
1/2/2021 San Francisco W, 85-62 -19.5 W 3.5 162.5 UNDER -15.5
1/7/2021 BYU W, 86-69 -18.5 L -1.5 163.5 UNDER -8.5
1/9/2021 at Portland W, 116-88 -32.5 L -4.5 162.5 OVER 41.5
1/14/2021 Pepperdine W, 95-70 -25.5 L -0.5 163.5 OVER 1.5
1/16/2021 at Saint Mary's W, 73-59 -15.5 L -1.5 146 UNDER -14
1/23/2021 Pacific W, 95-49 -26 W 20 149.5 UNDER -5.5
1/28/2021 at San Diego W, 90-62 -27.5 W 0.5 156 UNDER -4
1/30/2021 at Pepperdine W, 97-75 -22 P 0 163 OVER 9
2/4/2021 at Pacific W, 76-58 -23.5 L -5.5 151.5 UNDER -17.5
2/8/2021 at BYU W, 82-71 -11.5 L -0.5 155.5 UNDER -2.5
2/13/2021 at San Francisco W, 100-61 -16.5 W 22.5 156.5 OVER 4.5
2/18/2021 Saint Mary's W, 87-65 -21 W 1 142.5 OVER 9.5
2/20/2021 San Diego W, 106-69 -32.5 W 4.5 153.5 OVER 21.5
2/25/2021 Santa Clara W, 89-75 -30.5 L -16.5 155 OVER 9
2/27/2021 Loyola Marymount W, 86-69 -25 L -8 153.5 OVER 1.5
3/8/2021 vs. Saint Mary's W, 78-55 -18.5 W 4.5 141.5 UNDER -8.5
3/9/2021 vs. BYU W, 88-78 -14 L -4 154.5 OVER 11.5
3/20/2021 vs. Norfolk State W, 98-55 -34 W 9 154.5 UNDER -1.5
3/22/2021 vs. Oklahoma W, 87-71 -14 W 2 154 OVER 4
3/28/2021 vs. Creighton W, 83-65 -13 W 5 159 UNDER -11

Head to Head

Gonzaga is 3-0-0 against the spread when it plays against Creighton in recorded games since 2017. The over has hit in 2 out of 3 recorded head-to-head games (66.7%).

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
12/1/2017 Creighton W, 91-74 -9 W 8 161.5 OVER 3.5
12/1/2018 at Creighton W, 103-92 -6.5 W 4.5 167 OVER 28
3/28/2021 vs. Creighton W, 83-65 -13 W 5 159 UNDER -11

Creighton ATS Performance

This Season

Creighton is 15-16-0 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 13 of 31 Creighton games (41.9%) this season.

Creighton is 3-3-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 1 of Creighton’s 6 games on neutral floors (16.7%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/29/2020 North Dakota State W, 69-58 -23.5 L -12.5 145.5 UNDER -18.5
12/1/2020 Omaha W, 94-67 -19.5 W 7.5 146.5 OVER 14.5
12/4/2020 Kennesaw State W, 93-58 -31.5 W 3.5 141.5 OVER 9.5
12/8/2020 at Kansas L, 72-73 3.5 W 2.5 147.5 UNDER -2.5
12/11/2020 Nebraska W, 98-74 -14 W 10 150.5 OVER 21.5
12/14/2020 Marquette L, 84-89 -7 L -12 148.5 OVER 24.5
12/17/2020 at St. John's W, 94-76 -7.5 W 10.5 160.5 OVER 9.5
12/20/2020 at UConn W, 76-74 -3.5 L -1.5 149 OVER 1
12/23/2020 Xavier W, 66-61 -7 L -2 152.5 UNDER -25.5
1/2/2021 at Providence W, 67-65 -4 L -2 146 UNDER -14
1/6/2021 Seton Hall W, 89-53 -5.5 W 30.5 148 UNDER -6
1/9/2021 St. John's W, 97-79 -13 W 5 158.5 OVER 17.5
1/16/2021 at Butler L, 66-70 -8 L -12 141 UNDER -5
1/20/2021 Providence L, 70-74 -10 L -14 145 UNDER -1
1/23/2021 UConn W, 74-66 -8.5 L -0.5 138.5 OVER 1.5
1/27/2021 at Seton Hall W, 85-81 -1.5 W 2.5 146.5 OVER 19.5
1/30/2021 at DePaul W, 69-62 -9.5 L -2.5 148.5 UNDER -17.5
2/3/2021 Georgetown L, 79-86 -14 L -21 150 OVER 15
2/6/2021 at Marquette W, 71-68 -4.5 L -1.5 145.5 UNDER -6.5
2/9/2021 at Georgetown W, 63-48 -7.5 W 7.5 150.5 UNDER -39.5
2/13/2021 Villanova W, 86-70 2.5 W 18.5 144.5 OVER 11.5
2/24/2021 DePaul W, 77-53 -15 W 9 141.5 UNDER -11.5
2/27/2021 at Xavier L, 69-77 -5 L -13 148.5 UNDER -2.5
3/3/2021 at Villanova L, 60-72 4.5 L -7.5 147 UNDER -15
3/6/2021 Butler W, 93-73 -12.5 W 7.5 134 OVER 32
3/11/2021 vs. Butler W, 87-56 -11 W 20 135.5 OVER 7.5
3/12/2021 vs. UConn W, 59-56 0 W 3 144.5 UNDER -29.5
3/13/2021 vs. Georgetown L, 48-73 -8.5 L -33.5 143 UNDER -22
3/20/2021 vs. UC Santa Barbara W, 63-62 -7 L -6 138 UNDER -13
3/22/2021 vs. Ohio W, 72-58 -5.5 W 8.5 149 UNDER -19
3/28/2021 vs. Gonzaga L, 65-83 13 L -5 159 UNDER -11

Head to Head

Creighton is 0-3-0 against the spread when it plays against Gonzaga in recorded games since 2017. The over has hit in 2 out of 3 recorded head-to-head games (66.7%).

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
12/1/2017 at Gonzaga L, 74-91 9 L -8 161.5 OVER 3.5
12/1/2018 Gonzaga L, 92-103 6.5 L -4.5 167 OVER 28
3/28/2021 vs. Gonzaga L, 65-83 13 L -5 159 UNDER -11
Note: Our ATS data dates back to the 2017-18 season.

News

News Updates

News updates via RotoWire.
  • Drew Timme (03/28): Timme recorded 22 points (10-14 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT), six rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes during Sunday's 83-65 win over Creighton.
  • Andrew Nembhard (03/28): Nembhard posted 17 points (7-9 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 0-0 FT), four rebounds and eight assists across 36 minutes in Sunday's 83-65 victory over Creighton.
  • Damien Jefferson (03/23): Jefferson recorded 15 points (6-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, three assists and one steal during 34 minutes in the 72-58 win over Ohio on Monday.
  • Christian Bishop (03/23): Bishop produced 12 points (6-7 FG), 15 rebounds and one steal through 32 minutes in the 72-58 win against Ohio on Monday.
  • Marcus Zegarowski (03/23): Zegarowski provides 20 points (7-16 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block during 38 minutes in the 72-58 win over Ohio on Monday.
  • Corey Kispert (03/23): Kispert posted 16 points (5-11 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds and zero assists in 30 minutes during Monday's 87-71 win over Oklahoma.
  • Drew Timme (03/23): Timme tallied 30 points (9-12 FG, 0-0 3Pt, 12-14 FT), 13 rebounds and four assists across 34 minutes in Monday's 87-71 victory over Oklahoma.
  • Anton Watson (03/21): Watson posted 17 points (7-7 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes during Saturday's 98-55 victory over Norfolk St.
  • Joel Ayayi (03/21): Ayayi posted 15 points (6-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds and two assists across 28 minutes in Saturday's 98-55 victory over Norfolk St.
  • Mitch Ballock (03/21): Ballock finished with eight points (3-10 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block through 37 minutes in the 63-62 win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
  • Christian Bishop (03/21): Bishop recorded 15 points (6-8 FG, 3-5 FT), 11 rebounds, one steal and two blocks through 32 minutes in the 63-62 win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
  • Shereef Mitchell (03/20): Mitchell (head) will play Saturday against Cal-Santa Barbara, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports.
  • Shereef Mitchell (03/15): Mitchell (head) is improving but still being evaluated ahead of Saturday's game against Cal-Santa Barbara, Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald reports.
  • Marcus Zegarowski (03/13): Zegarowski recorded 17 points (7-8 FG, 3-4 3Pt), four rebounds, four assists and one steal through 34 minutes during the 73-48 Big East Title upset loss to Georgetown on Saturday.
  • Shereef Mitchell (03/13): Mitchell won't play in Saturday's Big East Tournament final against Georgetown after getting hit in the head during Friday's matchup with Connecticut, Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald reports.
  • Antwann Jones (03/11): Jones recorded eight points (3-3 FG, 2-2 3Pt), four rebounds and four assists during 12 minutes in the 87-56 Quarterfinal win against Butler on Thursday.
  • Marcus Zegarowski (03/11): Zegarowski finished with 18 points (7-10 FG, 4-5 3Pt), four rebounds, five assists and three steals during 28 minutes in the 87-56 Quarterfinal win over Butler on Thursday.
  • Jalen Suggs (03/09): Suggs recorded 23 points (7-15 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 5-8 FT), five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes during Tuesday's 88-78 victory over BYU.
  • Joel Ayayi (03/09): Ayayi posted 16 points (7-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 0-0 FT), eight rebounds and one assist in 28 minutes during Monday's 78-55 win over Saint Mary's.
  • Christian Bishop (03/08): Bishop recorded 10 points (5-7 FG), 10 rebounds and four assists during 22 minutes in the 93-73 win against Butler on Saturday.
  • Marcus Zegarowski (03/08): Zegarowski finished with 32 points (10-12 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 7-8 FT), two rebounds and one steal during 32 minutes in the 93-73 win over Butler on Saturday.
  • Andrew Nembhard (03/02): Nembhard was named the West Coast Conference Sixth Man of the Year on Tuesday.
  • Jalen Suggs (03/02): Suggs was named the West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year on Tuesday.
  • Corey Kispert (03/02): Kispert was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year on Tuesday.
  • Marcus Zegarowski (02/28): Zegarowski had 15 points (6-14 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 2-4 FT), 10 assists and two rebounds across 38 minutes in Saturday's 77-69 loss to Xavier.