Men’s Basketball Preview: No. 7 Creighton vs. No. 2 Texas
On Thursday, Creighton will travel to Austin, Texas, to face off against Texas as a part of the Big 12-Big East Battle.
In the Big 12-Big East Battle, the Bluejays are 1-2 and the Longhorns are 0-3.
The only time these teams met was in the first round of the 1974 NCAA Tournament.
In Monday’s AP poll, the Bluejays checked in at No. 7 and the Longhorns at No. 2, creating an exciting top ten matchup. This will be Creighton’s fourth-straight ranked matchup.
Both teams have had impressive seasons so far and both look to prove themselves further.
Creighton began its season with a six-game winning streak before falling to the Arizona Wildcats 81-79 in the championship game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
As for Texas, the Longhorns are undefeated at 5-0, including a win against former No. 2 Gonzaga.
Texas has played incredible defense this season, with 103 turnovers forced, the ninth-best in the NCAA.
Key players for the Longhorns include sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter, senior guard Marcus Carr and freshman forward Dillon Mitchell.
Hunter leads the team in points, Mitchell leads in rebounds and Carr leads in both assists and steals.
This Longhorn squad is averaging 82.2 points per game, while only allowing an average of 52.2 points per game.
Players to watch for the Bluejays are junior center Ryan Kalkbrenner, senior guard Baylor Scheierman and sophomore guard Ryan Nembhard.
Kalkbrenner leads the team in total points with 113 and a field goal percentage of 75.8%. Scheierman leads in rebounds with 65 and Nembhard leads in assists with 40.
Led by Kalkbrenner, the Bluejays have four additional players who average more than 10 points per game, creating a strong offensive team.
ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Texas an 80.5% chance of winning. The combination of the Longhorns’ defense and the environment of Moody Center will create difficulties for the Bluejays, but they will put up a strong fight.
Both teams are off to hot starts, Texas hopes to stay undefeated while Creighton looks to recover from last week’s loss.
Julianna Steinmetz is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
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