Creighton vs. Xavier,
03/14/2019 14:30 EDT,
Score: 61 - 63
Total: -117/+143½ Under
*3 Star Play Under* The Xavier Musketeers have been mixing in zone defense of late, and it has really helped them. Xavier in the bottom 20% of the country in man defense, but their zone defense ranks in top 1/3 of all zone defenses in the country.
Creighton is excellent against man defense. Creighton ranks 97th percentile according to Synergy Sports against man defense. The Blue Jays have struggled against zone though. They rank in the 36th percentile against zone defenses.
Creighton tends to play a little bit fast. The Blue Jays rank 123rd in the nation in tempo. Xavier ranks 310th in tempo, and they'll work to slow this game down. The two regular season meetings were both very low scoring games, and Xavier was able to dictate the pace. I don't see any reason that they can't do the same here.
Xavier's defense improved drastically late in the year. During a six game losing stretch in the middle of the season, they allowed 74 points or more in 5 of those 6 games. In their last 7 games, Xavier went 6-1. During that time, they didn't allow more than 73 points in a game. They allowed 61 points or less in three of those games.
Madison Square Garden has been a tremendous under court for many years. It's a difficult shooting backdrop. Both regular season meetings stayed under this total by more than 10 points.
Take the under.