Creighton vs. Rhode Island prediction and game preview, as the No. 6 Bluejays and No. 11 Rams face off in the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton, at this point, is a group of NCAA Tournament veterans, as Greg McDermott has built a strong program. The Bluejays will face a tough test in Rhode Island, who ran through the Atlantic 10 tournament to win it and is a threat to pull some upsets. Here is a preview of the 6-11 matchup.
Creighton vs. Rhode Island Game Preview
Date: Thursday, March 17
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas form a solid high-scoring tandem that can get hot quickly while complementing the play of big man Justin Patton. When the Bluejays are clicking, they’re tough to beat.
Creighton has struggled since Maurice Watson Jr. went down with a season-ending injury, finishing the regular season 5-7 without him. The Bluejays still haven’t figured out the best plan of attack with their leader out, and that’s not ideal heading into a single-elimination tournament.
Creighton Bluejays In-Depth Analysis
Rhode Island Strengths
Rhode Island went from on the bubble to an automatic bid by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament, a run that kep it from having to play in the First Four in Dayton. E.C. Matthews is the Rams’ catalyst and scored 19 points while hitting 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the A-10 title-game win over VCU. Matthews, Jared Terrell and Hassan Martin are a dangerous trio that makes the Rams a dark-horse team to reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Rhode Island Weaknesses
Free throw shooting is an issue. The Rams did hit 14 of 19 from the line against VCU, but they entered that contest shooting 65.5 percent from the charity stripe, a mark that ranked 311th in the country. If Rhode Island finds itself ahead and in need of free throws to close out a game in the Tournament, things could get interesting down the stretch.
Rhode Island Rams In-Depth Analysis
Creighton vs. Rhode Island By The Numbers
- Scoring Margin: 10.5
- Rebound Margin: -.8
- TO Margin: 1.6
- 3PT FG: 40.3%
Rhode Island Statistics
- Scoring Margin: 8.5
- Rebound Margin: 3.3
- TO Margin: 2.0
- 3PT FG: 33.8
Creighton vs. Rhode Island Prediction
If Watson Jr. was on the floor, this would be a no-brainer. However, he has been gone a while, and the Bluejays are still looking for a leader. It will come back to haunt them as the Rams are playing some good basketball, and will pull the upset in a close one.
Creighton vs. Rhode Island Prediction: Rhode Island 75, Creighton 71