#6 Creighton vs. #11 Rhode Island Midwest Region
Friday, March 17 4:30 PM ET CBS
(25-9, 10-8 Big East)
Player to Watch: Marcus Foster
Marcus Foster has been sensational all year for the Jays. He averages just over 18 points per contest while shooting just under 47% from the field.
X Factor: Containing Rhode Island’s Big Men
Hassan Martin and Kuran Iverson are rebound magnets. Together they average almost half of Rhode Island’s rebounds per game. If Creighton can rebound effectively, then they can get out in transition quickly and play how they want to. If Creighton does not contain these two beasts on the boards, then this will become a halfcourt game which favors Rhode Island.
(23-9, 13-5 Atlantic 10)
Player to Watch: Hassan Martin
Martin is the anchor of the frontcourt for the Rams. He averages 14 points and 7 rebounds per game, and shoots a phenomenal 59.6% from the floor
X Factor: Slowing Creighton Down
The BlueJays like to run up and down and score a lot of points. The Jays average 82.5 points per game and they have scored over 90 points in 8 games this year. If Rhode Island can force Creighton into half court offense and hold them to under 75 points they have a very good chance of pulling off the upset.
Match-Up to Watch
Marcus Foster (Creighton) vs. EC Matthews (Rhode Island): Marcus Foster and EC Matthews are both very athletic playmakers and scorers. They both finish at the rim well, through contact. Foster and Matthews also have very similar body types so neither of them will be able to exploit the other with any of their physical traits. This match-up breaks down to the fundamentals; scoring and defense.
Creighton shoots 50.8% from 3-point land while Rhode Island shoots an even 34%.
Prediction: Creighton 72, Rhode Island 69
Creighton will have trouble controlling Martin and Iverson on the boards which will make this a close game. However, Creighton has more pure shooters and scorers. Their ability to make clutch shots will propel them past Rhode Island in a nailbiter.