An early Christmas present comes the way of bettors and college basketball fans alike when Xavier puts its undefeated record on the line Wednesday afternoon in Omaha, Neb., against Creighton in a battle of teams that both rank in the top 21 in offensive efficiency.
Xavier has been shooting well from the outside, ranking 10th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage. Each of the team’s top five scorers is shooting at least 36.9 percent from beyond the arc. Guard Nate Johnson leads the way at 26-for-44 (59.1 percent). Forward Zach Freemantle, the Musketeers’ top scorer at 17.5 points per game, is making 42.9 percent of his 3s.
Creighton can relate to good outside shooting, as each of its top five scorers are making at least 37.3 percent of their 3-pointers, though Creighton is 45th in the country in team 3-point shooting percentage.
Creighton has done a good job of not beating itself this season, ranking 16th among Division I teams in fewest turnovers on a per-possession basis, but the Bluejays need to improve their free throw shooting percentage, which ranks 237th. Both teams are in the top eight of the country in assist-to-turnover ratio.
The teams have allowed a similar amount of points on a per-possession basis, but with Creighton rating 268th in the country in opponents’ 3-point shooting percentage, the Musketeers will make things uncomfortable for the Bluejays.
The play: Xavier, +7.
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