Alabama vs. Creighton Picks, Spread, and Review

Alabama (21-11 SU/13-15 ATS) received an at-large bid despite falling 66-63 to Florida in the SEC Conference Tournament. The Crimson Tide possesses a good balance of offense and defense, which allowed it to compete on a nightly basis in one of the country’s strongest conferences.

While the offense isn’t prolific, the defense allowed an SEC-low in surrendering a league-low 58.1 ppg, which ranks 9th in the nation in scoring defense. They also held foes to 38.8 percent shooting from the floor (# 17), second only to Kentucky in the conference.

The Crimson Tide average 64.9 ppg, but they are a very good free throw shooting team, connecting on 71.5 percent at the charity stripe.

The Tide’s plus-7.2 scoring margin is also among the best in the SEC behind only Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt. Senior JaMychal Green is at the head of the offense for ‘Bama with 14.0 ppg on 54 percent shooting from the floor, and he also leads the squad with 7.4 rebounds per contest. Sophomore Trevor Releford is a solid second option, averaging 11.9 ppg and a team-leading 2.7apg, while hitting 48.1 percent of his field goal attempts.

Trevor Lacey (7.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and Andrew Steele (6.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg) give the Tide more balance on offense, but the team took a hit when Tony Mitchell (13.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg) was suspended for the season in February.

Creighton (28-5 SU/15-14 ATS) was one of the surprise teams in the country this year.

The Bluejays raced out to a 21-2 start before a three-game losing streak in early February knocked them from the national rankings, but they responded by winning their final seven games of the season, which included three wins in the MVC Conference Tournament to get an automatic bid to the NCAA.

Creighton has one of the most potent offenses in the nation, lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 80.0 ppg (# 7 ) and its 50.9 field goal percentage ranks #1 in all of Division I. The Bluejay attack is led by Doug McDermott, who became the first sophomore in league history to be named the MVC Player of the Year.

McDermott leads the league and is ranked third nationally in scoring at 23.2 ppg, doing so at a 61.0 percent shooting clip, and he also rips down the second-most rebounds in the MVC (8.2 rpg). McDermott was named to the All-MVC First Team for the second year in a row and is also among the 30 finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year.

Antoine Young has been a solid compliment for McDermott, joining the All-MVC Second Team by posting 12.5 ppg and 4.5 apg. Gregory Echenique (9.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg) contributes more than his numbers indicate as he became Creighton’s first ever MVC Defensive Player of the Year after transferring from Rutgers.

Alabama is just 3-8 ATS as a favorite and 9-10 ATS in NCAA Tournament games, as well as 17-19 ATS against non-conference foes. Creighton counters with an 11-3 ATS mark against non-conference competition, but the ‘Jays are only 1-7 ATS against winning teams and 0-4 ATS in NCAA Tournament games.

Alabama played the tougher schedule this season (#33 vs. #94), but the program has been in disarray for most of the season with off the court issues resulting in various suspensions throughout the year. I recommend you select Creighton in a flip of a coin game.

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