Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) celebrates with forward Drew Timme (2) during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Saint Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
- Number-one overall seed Gonzaga is a 13.5-point pick over Creighton on Saturday in an NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis
- Gonzaga has won 25 straight games by a double-digit margin
- A pick for Creighton-Gonzaga as well as analysis of the matchup can be found below
Creighton will try to end Gonzaga’s march toward history when the Bluejays and Bulldogs meet at 2:10 pm ET in an NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Gonzaga, the top seed in the tournament, ran its record to 28-0 with an 87-71 victory over No. 8 Oklahoma on Monday as a 15.5-point favorite in a second-round game. The Bulldogs have won 25 games in a row by double digits as they attempt to become the first undefeated national champions since Indiana in 1975-76.
No. 5 Creighton (22-8) won for the fifth time in six games on Monday when it downed No. 13 Ohio 72-58 as a 5.5-point favorite, but the Bluejays are a big underdog against mighty Gonzaga.
Creighton vs Gonzaga Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Spread||Total|
|Creighton||+700||+13.5 (-107)||Over 158.5 (-109)|
|Gonzaga||-1115||-13.5 (-113)||Under 158.5 (-110)|
Odds as of March 23.
It’s Timme Time
Sophomore forward Drew Timme led Gonzaga over Oklahoma by scoring 30 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. The points were a career high, and the rebounds matched a career best. Timme made 9 of 12 field-goal attempts and was 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.
Oop, gotta be quicker than that!
Drew Timme with the FANCY footwork to get a bucket. pic.twitter.com/GEdJ26CFAq
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 22, 2021
Timme also vaulted over Iowa’s Luka Garza into the No. 1 spot in KenPom.com’ National Player of the Year rankings. Timme notched his fifth double-double of season and reached the 20-point mark for the 12th time but the first since March 20 when he scored 21 against San Diego.
Timme is averaging 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 65.5%
Senior forward Corey Kispert scored 16 points despite being in foul trouble in the first half. Freshman guard Jalen Suggs had 16 points and three assists and junior guard Joel Ayayi contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.
It was the first time Gonzaga played a team from a power conference since dusting Virginia 98-75 on Dec. 26. And the win was enough to make coach Mark Few do a handstand.
That winning feeling 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/6vtv09ihUS
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) March 22, 2021
Kispert is one of the best shooters in the nation. He has percentages of 54.8 on field goals, 45.8 on three-pointers, and 90.1 on foul shots while averaging a team-best 19.2 points per game.
Suggs is averaging 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals. Ayayi is scoring 11.9 points and pulling down 7.1 rebounds a game while shooting 57.1% from the field and 39.5% from long range.
In the KenPom efficiency ratings, Gonzaga is first offensively with 126.3 points per 100 possessions and eighth defensively with an 89.2 mark.
March Madness Final Four Odds Tracker
Creighton Balances It Out
Against Ohio, Creighton followed a formula that has been successful all season. The Bluejays got contributions from multiple players as five scored in double figures, led by junior guard Marcus Zegarowski’s 20 points.
You wanna talk about 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵?
*chef’s kiss* pic.twitter.com/HILTMLoI8f
— Creighton Men’s Basketball (@BluejayMBB) March 23, 2021
Zegarowski knocked down for threes while reaching the 20-point plateau for the sixth time this season. Meanwhile, the Bluejays held Ohio to 31.8% (21 of 66) shooting.
Junior forward Christian Bishop recorded his sixth double-double of the season and second of the tournament with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Bishop finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds in Creighton’s 63-62 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the first round two days earlier.
Senior forward Damien Jefferson scored 15 points on Monday, senior guard Denzel Mahoney added 11 points and senior guard Mitch Ballock chipped in with 10 points and five assists.
Those five players also have double-digit scoring averages, topped by Zegarowski’s (15.7). He is followed by Mahoney (12.5), Jefferson (12.1), Bishop (11.0), and Ballock (10.1)
This angle of the Christian Bishop lob 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2021
Gonzaga is making its sixth straight Sweet 16 appearance, while Creighton has not made it this far since 1974, when the tournament was a 25-team event. The winner advances to the regional final to play either #6 USC or #7 Oregon.
The Bulldogs certainly have recent history on their side along with a 32-game winning streak that dates back to the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. However, Creighton has an experienced team with plenty of scoring options and will give Gonzaga a tough game.
Pick: Creighton +13.5 (-107)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.