Creighton, winner of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, will meet Alabama on Friday, March 16th in a second round battle at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Blue Jays and Crimson Tide, who are seeded eighth and ninth in the Midwest Region respectively, are scheduled to tip off at 1:40pm ET on TBS. The latest NCAA Bracket Predictions have Alabama listed as a -1.5 against the spread favorite; the Over/Under is set at 131.5 points.
Creighton, most likely, had secured a place in the 2012 NCAA Tournament after finishing the regular season with a 25-5 record, but it removed all doubt by winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament the weekend before last. The Blue Jays, who put together a 14-4 league record to finish second behind Wichita State in the regular season, beat Drake, Evansville, and Illinois State in rout to the conference’s post-season title.
Per usual, conference player of the year and son of Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott, Doug McDermott, starred in the team’s victory march, scoring 73 total points in the team’s three game tournament run. Obviously, McDermott, who is averaging 23.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game on the season, will be of chief concern to Alabama on Friday.
Creighton will lean heavily on the 6′ 7″ sophomore forward as it looks to avoid a fourth consecutive opening game NCAA Tournament ouster. The Blue Jays have not advanced past the first round in the big dance since beating Florida 83-82 in 2002.
Alabama, which is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006, suffered through some rough patches during the conference season, but it played well enough down the stretch to secure a place in the NCAA’s. The Crimson Tide, who earned non-conference wins against Wichita State, VCU, and Purdue, finished the season on a 4-1 run and they nearly knocked off Florida in the second round of the SEC Tournament.
The Tide our offensively limited, but they do have three players averaging in double figures, including JaMychal Green (14) and Tony Mitchell (13.1). Alabama makes up for its lack of offensive punch by holding its opposition to an average of 58.1 points per game.
Alabama vs Creighton 2012 NCAA Bracket Predictions: Provided by SBG Global
Alabama Crimson Tide -1.5 (-110), Over 131.5 (-110), -125 (Moneyline)
Creighton Blue Jays +1.5 (-110), Under 131.5 (-110), +105 (Moneyline)