Butler vs Creighton Preview and Prediction
Butler vs Creighton Preview
A Big East rivalry is on tap for the nation on Friday night as Butler heads to Nebraska to take on Creighton in a “Pink Out” game. As part of the nationwide Coaches vs. Cancer event, Bluejay players will wear pink shooting shirts and pink jerseys.
Butler enters the game with a 12-8 (3-4 Big East) record after dropping an 80-72 decision to No. 18 Villanova Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Creighton is 11-8 overall and 2-4 in conference play. This is the second and final match-up of the regular season between the two teams; Butler won at Hinkle Fieldhouse, 84-69, Jan. 5. and will conclude the season series with Creighton before the Bulldogs play Marquette or Providence for the first time.
Creighton’s record can be considered impressive because they have played the nation’s ninth toughest schedule, having already played 12 teams that won 21 games or more a year ago. The Bluejays own impressive wins away from home at Providence and Georgetown, as well as a neutral floor triumph over No. 16 Clemson thus far.
Butler has not been as good away from home–the team has a 1-4 true road record, but they did pick up their first road victory last time out against DePaul on Jan. 16.
A strong first half and a season-high 28 points from Kamar Baldwin led Butler to an 84-69 win over Creighton Jan. 5 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs shot 58 percent in the first half to take a 48-29 halftime advantage. Eighteen of those first-half points came from Baldwin. Butler’s 48 points in the first half were the second-most for the Bulldogs in a half this season. Creighton responded by scoring the first 11 points of the second half (making all four attempts from the field) to pull within 48-40 with 16:12 to play. But, the next nine points belonged to the Bulldogs to push the margin back to 17. Creighton would get no closer than 13 the rest of the way.
The Preseason All-Big East selection, Baldwin, leads the Bulldogs with 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 34.8 minutes per contest and is second with 3.9 assists per game.
Creighton is 10-8 all-time vs. Butler in a series that dates to a 27-22 Bluejay win in 1933. The teams played twice each in 1933 and 1934, then took a 40-year break in the series. Creighton is 6-2 all-time in Omaha, including a 4-1 mark since the schools became Big East rivals.
The Bluejays do not miss many shots, especially from beyond the arc. The team ranks second nationally in three-point percentage (.431), third in total three-pointers (231), third in three-pointers made per game (12.2) and fifth in field goal percentage (.505).
Creighton owns six men averaging 9.4 points per game or more, including sophomores Ty-Shon Alexander (17.5 ppg.) and Mitch Ballock (10.9 ppg.). The duo have combined for 120 three-pointers this year.
Butler is 7-1 this season when they out-rebound their opponent.
LINE: -2 Creighton
Dan’s Bet: +2 Butler
Score Prediction: Butler 83 Creighton 80