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No. 5 Creighton vs. No. 1 Gonzaga preview, picks for Sweet 16 round of 2021 NCAA Tournament

The Creighton Bluejays and Gonzaga Bulldogs are set to meet at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the Sweet 16 round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts to beating the Oklahoma Sooners in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Update: Saturday, March 28 12 p.m. Here are the updated bet splits from DraftKings Sportsbook for Creighton vs. Gonzaga:

Creighton: +13.5 (31% of handle, 31% of bets)
Gonzaga: -13.5 (69% of handle, 69% of bets)


Two of the country’s better scoring offenses are set to face off in Sweet 16. No. 5 Creighton asserted its dominance against No. 13 Ohio in the round of 32 while No. 1 Gonzaga secured yet another blowout victory against No. 8 Oklahoma. The Bluejays and Bulldogs are set to face off for the first time this year, and the favorites have a significant edge.

Sunday's game will tip-off at 2:15 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse and be broadcast on CBS.

No. 5 Creighton Team: 22-8 (14-6 Big East)

First Round: Defeated No. 12 UCSB 63-62
Second Round: Defeated No. 13 Ohio 72-58
KenPom rating: 24 Overall, 20 Offense, 41 Defense
Leading scorer: Marcus Zegarowski (15.6 ppg)
Key stat: Creighton shoots just 64.2% from the free-throw line.

Creighton kicked off the tournament with a narrow victory against UCSB and rebounding from its unexpected one-point win by building its confidence in the second round. Ohio convinced a lot of people that it could knock off the Bluejays after upsetting No. 4 Virginia in the opening round, but Creighton's offense and defense bounced back in the round of 32. Marcus Zegarowski’s 20 points led the way for Creighton, but four other double-digit scorers were major contributors.

No team in college basketball can score like Gonzaga, but the Blue Jays have a plethora of players who can fill it up to keep things interesting against the Bulldogs ‘ three-headed monster. The Bluejays’ forwards will have to try to match Drew Timme's production,. The forward scored 30 points in a double-double performance on Monday as a collective.

No. 1 Gonzaga: 28-0 (15-0 WCC)

First Round: Defeated No. 16 Norfolk State 98-55
Second Round: Defeated No. 8 Oklahoma 87-71
KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 1 Offense, 7 Defense
Leading scorer: Corey Kispert (19.3 ppg)
Key stat: Gonzaga has converted more than 88% of its free throws so far in the tournament.

Norfolk State didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell against the odds-on favorites and could hardly get anything going in the first round. Oklahoma played a great game against Gonzaga and shot 50% from the field, but ending u falling short by a wide margin because of the free-throw disparity. Drew Timme took control with 30 points for the Bulldogs’ offensive machine,

Gonzaga routinely passes up good shots for great ones. The quality of the looks the Bulldogs get on offense helps them maintain a high level of efficiency. Shooting over 50% from the field on a nightly basis makes it hard for any school to compete when it comes to scoring.

Jalen Suggs doesn’t have to be outstanding on offense for Gonzaga to win big, but his defense against Zegarowski could play a big part in how competitive this game is. Suggs’ ability to turn opposing guards over could give the Bulldogs a major edge.

March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Gonzaga -13.5
Total: 158.5
Moneyline: Gonzaga -1115, Creighton +700

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Gonzaga -13.5
Point total pick: Over 158.5
Pick to Win: Gonzaga -1115

The Bulldogs have won by an average of 29.5 points per game so far. Handily beating a team that was regularly ranked throughout the year makes Gonzaga’s odds of covering again seem strong. The Bulldogs are an elite free-throw shooting team, while the Bluejays are far below average, and accruing points at the charity stripe down the stretch could help Gonzaga pull away late.

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