The only top 25 battle of Tuesday night features the #24 Providence Friars (18-7, 10-4 Big East) hosting the #18 Creighton Blue Jays (17-8, 11-3 Big East) in a Big East Conference matchup. Creighton took the first game of the regular season series earlier this year with a 73-67 victory at home in mid-January.
The conference contest tips off at 7 p.m. EST inside Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, Rhode Island. Creighton is a two-point favorite and the over/under total is 140.5 points.
What to Know – #18 Creighton Blue Jays
Since that victory over the Friars exactly a month ago, Creighton has rallied to win eight in a row as one of the hottest teams in the country. The Blue Jays haven’t lost since a three-point defeat at Xavier and sit just a half-game outside a tie for the top spot in the Big East.
The Blue Jays are sixth in the league offensively scoring 75.9 points per game behind 47.0% shooting from the floor and 35.3% shooting beyond the arc. Creighton’s defense ranks third in the league surrendering 66.5 ppg, 41.8% shooting from the field, and 33.5% shooting from deep.
You won’t find an individual standout in the Blue Jays offense, but five starters all averaging in double figures. The leader of the group is center Ryan Kalkbenner who’s averaging 15.0 ppg during his junior campaign.
Creighton is 12-13 against the spread this year and 3-4 ATS in road games. The Blue Jays are just 1-6 ATS over their last seven meetings against Providence.
What to Know – #24 Providence Friars
Providence has dropped two of its last three games, but the Friars remain one of the toughest teams in the conference. The Friars have sole possession of fourth place in the Big East, just 1.5-games back of the leaders as the regular season winds down.
Offensively, the Friars are third in the league averaging 78.0 ppg, hitting 42.6% of their shots from the field and 34.4% of their attempts from three. On defense, Providence limits opponents to 68.8 ppg, 42.8% shooting from the floor and 31.6% from three.
Bryce Hopkins is the engine of the Providence offense and the second leading scorer in the conference. The sophomore is averaging 16.6 ppg thanks to 47% shooting from the field. Classmate Devin Carter adds 13.0 ppg while senior Ed Croswell chips in 12.7 ppg.
The Friars own a 15-10 mark ATS and an 8-5 record ATS on their home floor. Providence is 4-2 ATS over its previous six games played on a Tuesday.
The Pick is In
There is a lot on the line Tuesday night between these two teams atop the Big East standings. A win for Creighton and the Blue Jays are neck and neck with Xavier and Marquette at the top while a victory for the hosts and the Friars are one-game back.
Providence has won all of its 13 games at home this season, and although the Blue Jays are on a roll, Hopkins and the Friars prove too much for the visitors.
The Pick: #24 Providence Friars +2