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Courtside Players Club

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Courtside Players Club (2/2/24)

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(1 Pick)

9:00PM EST: Butler/Creighton Under 148 (5 Units).

Creighton's seen their last 3 games go over the total, but they were 7-0 to the Under in Conference play up to that point. Going back, they lit up the worst Power 6 team in CBB, played an up-tempo Xavier squad, and would have gone Under vs Seton Hall in regulation but it ended up in Triple Overtime. As talented as the Creighton squad is they move slow. They're 254th in Adj Tempo this season and have an uncanny ability to dictate the flow of games. It's because they're 44th in defensive rebounding % and they have a strict drop back and play defense philosophy instead of crashing the offensive glass. Creighton is only 234th in Offensive Rebounding %. They shouldn't have an issue dictating the flow against a Butler team that's 153rd in Adj Tempo themselves but also rank just 221st in offensive rebounding %.

The biggest concern with using an Under in a Creighton game is their ability to get Hot from Deep. They shoot threes at the 5th highest clip in the Country. Butler is Backcourt dominant though and have defended it well. They're holding teams to just 31.4% from deep and are 68th in the Country in Open 3-Rate. They're much worse inside and at the rim and Creighton can exploit that with Center Ryan Kalkbrenner. After failing to record double digit shot attempts in each of Creighton's first 3 conference games, HC Greg McDermott made it a point of emphasis to get him involved. He's averaging 19.6 points per game since then. Creighton hasn't been as 3-PT happy as they were earlier this year, and they didn't need to be with a guy like Ryan Kalkbrenner on the roster. It helped them be more efficient as a team, but it also helped to keep the scoring totals down and the pace of play slower.

On the opposite end this Butler team will struggle to get clean looks at the rim. Creighton is 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency overall. Creighton is first in Rim and 3 Rate and 2nd in opponent 3-PT Rate. They funnel you into the midrange where you have to try and put up a shot over the 7'1 Kalkbrenner. Butler has 2 Bigs in their rotation at the moment and neither one of them can shoot the 3 so Kalkbrenner will be at the Rim defensively this entire game. Butler isn't a great shooting team as it is. They're 123rd in FG% and 99th in 3-PT %. They are exceptional at the charity stripe though, ranking 5th shooting 78.7%. Problem is they're just 242nd in Free Throw Rate offensively while Creighton's 1st defensively. Creighton's also 342nd in FTR offensively while Butler's defense ranks 6th.

Butler ranks 212th and Creighton 337th in opponent fouls per game. Butler's 13th in personal fouls per game while Creighton ranks 1st. There won't be many points scored with a stopped clock in this game. Each team will need to be efficient with their shots to drive this past the total. Shouldn't get too many 2nd chance opportunities either as neither team crashes the offensive glass very well.

And even if Creighton gets hot from deep this can still go Under with the way they play defensively. Their defense will be able to set up following a make at least. Creighton failed to reach the 70-point mark in their first 3 Home conference games. They scored 85 in each of their last 2 Home games but again, Depaul just flat-out sucks. They rank 295th overall, 286th in Adj O, and are 276th in Adj D. Xavier really pushed the tempo against Creighton bringing a ton of ball pressure. Xavier mustered up 71 shot attempts in the loss. Creighton just shot 25 free throws against Xavier.

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