Looking to continue to prove themselves as a potential No. 1 seed come March, No. 5 Xavier (22-3, 10-2 Big East) heads to Omaha to take on Creighton (18-6, 8-4) on Saturday.
The game starts at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for a free trial of one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
FuboTV: Fox (live in 70-plus markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the game on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
DirecTV Now: Fox (live in 39 markets) is included in all four channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months. Once signed up, you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: Fox (live in 17 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you like offense, you’re going to enjoy this game.
Xavier is fifth in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive efficiency (a measure of points per 100 opponents adjusted for strength of schedule), 18th in effective field-goal percentage and eighth in good ol’ points per game. Creighton, meanwhile, ranks 19th, sixth and seventh in the same categories.
Similarly, both teams tend to struggle on the defensive end. The Musketeers are 73rd in Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency, while the Bluejays slot in at 68th.
When these teams met in January, though, it was more of a one-sided shootout. Trevon Bluiett poured in 24 points, six Musketeers chipped in double-digit points, and Xavier rolled to a 92-70 victory inside the Cintas Center.
“This is different for us,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said after that game, which saw his team commit 20 turnovers. “This is really the first time we’ve gotten spanked, so it’s a new experience for us and hopefully something we’re committed to not being part of the rest of the season.”
Since that matchup, Creighton has gone 4-2 with losses to Providence and Villanova, but just like all of their other defeats this season, those came away from home. The Bluejays are 13-0 inside the CenturyLink Center this season, and continuing that streak would be a massive boost to their resume. They’re projected as a six seed, but a win against Xavier on Saturday would serve as their best win of the season by far.
As for the Musketeers, a one seed is likely within reach if they can get through the next three games (at Creighton, vs. Seton Hall, vs. Villanova) with two wins, and then proceed to win out. That’s for the future, though, as the task for Saturday–going into a hostile environment and beating a very good opponent–is already difficult enough.