Coming off a loss to top-tier team Purdue, Alabama has a chance to get another massive win, taking on the talented Creighton Bluejays.
TV schedule: Saturday, December 16th, 8:00 pm ET, FOX
Arena: CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska
One of the top games from last Saturday’s slate of games was Alabama taking on Purdue. The Crimson Tide‘s offense was on full display, making a total of 19 three-pointers and having the lead throughout the first half. However, the Tide’s defensive woes became apparent, blowing said lead and ultimately losing to Purdue, 92-86.
It was unfortunate that Mark Sears‘ career-high performance was wasted, going for 35 pts on 8/16 shooting from deep. Forwards Grant Nelson and Mohamed Wague each had 11 pts but like all frontcourts, struggled to contain Zach Edey inside in the game. Alabama (6-3) now has the 3rd-highest scoring offense in the country but its defense now ranks in the 300s at 76.8 ppg allowed.
Their opponent is Creighton (8-1), a team whose offense is also one of the best nationally. They’re coming off a dominant win over Central Michigan, 109-64. Isaac Traudt led all scorers with 18 pts off bench, one of six players in double figures. As a team, the Bluejays had 28 asts to just nine turnovers.
On the season, Creighton only has a loss to Colorado State but also rebounded to beat rival Nebraska by 29 pts. They’re a preseason top-10 team with plenty of firepower, led by Baylor Scheierman (18.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg) and Trey Alexander (15.0 ppg and 4.9 apg). Big man Ryan Kalkbrenner is another good scorer but also is a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year winner as well.
This is a matchup that could easily have both teams going for 80+ points. However, the Bluejays’ defense is much better than Alabama’s and it’s hard to see how they can stop the multitude of options the home team is going to have in this matchup. I see Creighton winning this one fairly easy.
Prediction: Creighton 92, Alabama 80