In a chaotic Big East, the UConn Huskies and Creighton Bluejays are emerging as two of the best teams in the conference. They go head-to-head on Wednesday.
TV Schedule: Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 PM ET, FS1
Location: Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT
The Big East has proven to be incredibly messy in recent weeks, with almost any team capable of beating another on any given night. A game on Wednesday pits two of the league's against one another when Creighton takes on UConn in Storrs.
Both teams enter the game hot. Creighton has won its last four games, while UConn has won its last five. Neither faced a murderers' row of opponents and shared several victims in common, including St. John's, DePaul and Georgetown.
The similarities are actually uncanny amongst those common opponent contests. A week after the Huskies defeated the Blue Demons 85-56 at home, the Bluejays did the same at DePaul, winning 84-56. UConn held St. John's to 65 points in a four-point win, while Creighton held the Red Storm to 65 points in a one-point win. Both blew the doors off the Hoyas.
Similar results should suggest similar levels of play and talent, but that's not exactly the case. The Huskies ascended to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll this week after avoiding last week's array of upsets. They've lost only twice and have largely lived up to the hype as a team with the potential to win back-to-back national titles.
Creighton has all the talent in the world, but has been shakier this season. Its Big East losses were close defeats at the hans of Villanova and Marquette. But it also lost two games to Mountain West teams - both blowouts - when it was destroyed by Colorado State and UNLV.
It's a small sample size, but UConn has only beaten Creighton once since the teams started competing in the reformed Big East. Don't think that record needs to be taken into strong account.
What needs to be taken into account is whether or not Huskies big man Donovan Clingan will be back on the court. The sophomore has been out for several weeks with a foot injury. He's believed to be nearing a return, but it's unclear if he'll be back on the court on Wednesday.
Even if Clingan isn't ready to return, Creighton still faces an uphill task to knock off the Huskies on their home court. UConn hasn't lost in Storrs all season and even without Clingan, Tristen Newton, Alex Karaban, and Cam Spencer should be able to lead the Huskies to victory.
Prediction: UConn 78, Creighton 70