Creighton 96

(16-3, 6-1 Big East)

(4) Villanova 68

(16-2, 5-1 Big East)

    Coverage: FOXS1

    7:00 PM ET, January 20, 2014

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    1 2 T
    CREI 54 4296
    #4VILL 41 2768

    Top Performers

    Creighton: E. Wragge 27 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast

    Villanova: J. Bell 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Stl

    Creighton-Villanova Preview

    Villanova has a cute nickname for Doug McDermott that indicates how tough a task it is to slow down Creighton's star player.

    The fourth-ranked Wildcats seek a sixth straight victory when they host McDermott and the Bluejays in a Monday night showdown for the Big East lead.

    McDermott is averaging 24.9 points to rank second in the nation, and he's a marked man in his first Big East season.

    "Last Sunday, when (the Bluejays) played Xavier, I was out recruiting and I asked the guys, 'Did you see the game?'" Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "They said yes. I asked 'How do you think Creighton beat Xavier?' and they just said 'Dougie McBuckets.'

    "They all really respect him and it made me feel good that our players respect him because I think he is a consummate all-around basketball player and I like that our guys like him because it tells me about their intelligence and their basketball IQ."

    Creighton (15-3, 5-1) fell behind Villanova (16-1, 5-0) with Saturday's 81-68 defeat at Providence. McDermott scored 21 and failed to make a 3-pointer for the third time this season as the Bluejays' 10-game win streak ended.

    The defeat caused Creighton to fall out of the rankings this week.

    "I've been sick for a little bit, but that's not an excuse," McDermott said. "I've played through sickness before. It wasn't our best as a group."

    Creighton is among the national leaders at 42.4 percent on 3-pointers, but finished at a season-low 21.1 against the Friars. Ethan Wragge made two of eight attempts after entering at 50.0 percent.

    Providence's 50.9 percent shooting was also a season-worst allowed by Creighton.

    "We weren't ourselves but Providence had a lot to do with that," coach Greg McDermott said. "We had a hard time stopping them and when we made a mistake, they certainly made us pay for it."

    The Bluejays will face a Villanova team that leads the Big East in limiting opponents to 38.8 percent shooting. The Wildcats cruised to an 88-62 home win over DePaul on Saturday.

    James Bell scored 17 and Daniel Ochefu reached double digits for the second straight game with 14, making all six shots.

    "My coaches and my teammates do a great job being confident in myself," Ochefu said. "I just respond to them having confidence in me."

    The Wildcats got a quiet effort from leading scorer JayVaughn Pinkston, who had eight points after averaging 18.3 in his first four Big East games.

    This is Villanova's first game of the season at the Wells Fargo Center, where it went 3-0 last season.

    The venue isn't unfamiliar to Creighton, which played there in last year's NCAA tournament. McDermott averaged 24.0 points and 10.0 rebounds as the Bluejays beat Cincinnati and fell to Duke.

    Creighton is making its second trip to Philadelphia this season after an 83-79 victory over Saint Joseph's on Nov. 16.

    Villanova has won all three meetings in the series, the last coming in 1952.


    School Info

    Conference Big East Big East
    Nickname Bluejays Wildcats
    Type Private Private

    2013-14 Season

    » Jan 20, 2014 CREI 96, @VILL 68Recap
    Feb 16, 2014 @CREI 101, VILL 80Recap

    Research Notes

    * Creighton has lost its last 25 true road games against ranked teams; it's last win: Jan. 28, 1978 against 13th-ranked Indiana State which was led by Larry Bird * Creighton has lost 22 straight vs top-10 teams; last win: Feb. 9, 1974 at Marquette * Creighton has not beat a top-5 team since Jan. 29, 1970 (beat 5 New Mexico State)
    From Elias: Creighton's win over Villanova is the largest road win by an unranked team over a top-5 team over the last 20 years.
    Creighton's effective field goal percentage, which takes into account the added value of a 3-pointer, was the third highest against a top-5 opponent since 1996-97. It was also Creighton's highest in a game this season. The Bluejays lead the nation in that category this season (59.3%).
    *Including Monday, Creighton has averaged 124.2 points per 100 possessions this season, the most in the nation. Creighton also leads the country in effective field goal percentage and 3-point field goals.
    *Creighton made 21 3-point field goals in Monday night's rout of Villanova, a Big East record and the most made 3-point field goals in a game since 2011. - In the Bluejays' last game, an 81-68 loss to Providence, they were held to season lows in both 3-point field goals made (4) and 3-point percentage (21.1%).
    *Doug McDermott's 23 points moved him into 22nd in the all-time Division I scoring list. McDermott has scored at least 19 points in all but one game this season.

    ESPN Stats & Information