NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 action continues on Sunday with four regional semifinal games in both the West and East Regions. In the first game on Sunday afternoon, the top overall seed and unbeaten Gonzaga Bulldogs will be in action. Standing in their way as they try to capture the elusive first national championship in school history are the Creighton Bluejays. The Sweet 16 betting oddsmakers have predictably made Gonzaga a hefty favorite for this West Region matchup.
The following offers a comprehensive breakdown and betting preview of Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 showdown. Read on for vital game information, team statistics, trends and predictions for the Creighton vs Gonzaga matchup.
Creighton vs Gonzaga Sweet 16 Game Info
Creighton Bluejays (22-8, 14-8 Big East) vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-0, 15-0 West Coast)
Date: Sunday, Mar. 28, 2021
Start Time: 2:10 p.m. ET
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse — Indianapolis, IN
Creighton vs Gonzaga Betting Odds
Odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Moneyline: CRE: (+650) | GON: (-1100)
Point Spread: CRE: +13.5 (-110) | GON: -13.5 (-110)
Total: 158 — Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | College Basketball Betting Overview
Creighton Basketball Outlook
In all honesty, Creighton was fortunate to survive their very first game of the NCAA Tournament, let alone reach the first Sweet 16 in school history. Had a lay-in attempt by UC Santa Barbara big man Amadou Sow not bounced off the back iron, the Bluejays would’ve been bounced from the bracket in the First Round. As it turned out, the shot did not fall through and Creighton advanced to face an overmatched Ohio team in the Second Round. Thus, Greg McDermott’s squad has reached the Sweet 16 with two wins over mid-majors.
While the betting odds and public opinion may believe Creighton to be overmatched in this Sweet 16 matchup, it’s still worth noting what the Bluejays bring to the table. Guard Marcus Zegarowski led the team in scoring this season and this has held true in the tournament thus far. The junior followed up his 17-point effort against UCSB with 20 in Crieghton’s Second Round win over Ohio. Forward Christian Bishop has also had a strong tournament thus far with double-double performances in each of the first two games.
Creighton KenPom Ratings
- Overall Efficiency Margin: +21.02 (No. 20 in NCAA)
- Offense: 113.6 (No. 23 in NCAA)
- Defense: 92.6 (No. 32 in NCAA)
- Tempo: 68.8 (No. 143 in NCAA)
Gonzaga Basketball Outlook
For as talented as Creighton is, it’s hard to envision them being the first team to topple this loaded Gonzaga squad all season. The Bulldogs sailed past 16-seed Norfolk State in their opening-round game. In all honesty, it was more of a glorified dress rehearsal than a competitive basketball game. Gonzaga followed that up with a 16-point blowout of Oklahoma in the Second Round. While the Sooners were without their best player, many believed Ou had the goods to at least make the Zags sweat out a close game.
Mark Few has undoubtedly assembled the best team he’s ever had during his lengthy tenure as Gonzaga’s head coach. The usual suspects showed out in the win over Oklahoma, led by Drew Timme who notched a 30-point, 13-rebound double-double. Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs supplied 16 points apiece while Joel Ayayi added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Gonzaga had the best scoring offense in the country this season, averaging 92.1 points per game. For the record, that was a whole 6.9 points higher than runner-up Colgate. In other words, this team is scary good and virtually unstoppable offensively.
Gonzaga KenPom Ratings
- Overall Efficiency Margin: +37.36 (No. 1 in NCAA)
- Offense: 126.4 (No. 1 in NCAA)
- Defense: 89.1 (No. 7 in NCAA)
- Tempo: 74.3 (No. 4 in NCAA)
Creighton vs Gonzaga College Basketball Betting Trends
- Creighton 2020-21 Betting Trends: 14-16 ATS; 13-16-1 to the Over
- Gonzaga 2020 Betting Trends: 14-12-2 ATS; 15-13 to the Over
- Creighton is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.
- Creighton is 0-6 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games as an underdog.
- Gonzaga is just 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games following an ATS win.
- Six of Creighton’s last seven NCAA Tournament games have gone under the total.
- The over has hit in 12 of Gonzaga’s last 15 games as a neutral site favorite.
Creighton vs Gonzaga Stats
- Creighton is averaging 76.3 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 46 in NCAA)
- Creighton is surrendering 67.7 PPG on the season (No. 88 in NCAA)
- Gonzaga is averaging 92.1 PPG this season (No. 1 in NCAA)
- Gonzaga is surrendering 68.7 PPG (No. 13 in NCAA)
Creighton vs Gonzaga Prediction
I’d love to make the case for a shocking upset here, but I just don’t see it. Creighton barely survived their First Round game and got a break with Ohio as their Second Round opponent. Meanwhile, Gonzaga arguably exceeded expectations in advancing to the Sweet 16 based on the demolition they put on an Oklahoma team that one could argue had a better resume this year than Creighton. Add it all up and this one could get ugly on Sunday.
With that said, 13 and a half points is a lot to lay in an NCAA Tournament game, especially in the Sweet 16. However, if there’s any team capable of covering it, it’s these Gonzaga Bulldogs. Consider that 27 of the Zags’ 28 wins in this perfect season have come by double digits. The only single-digit final score of Gonzaga’s season came all the way back in December in an 87-82 win over West Virginia. Now THAT is domination!
Given the offensive firepower and pace that both teams deploy, my lean on this game is to play over 158 total points. Gonzaga should have no trouble exceeding the 80-point threshold and I’m not convinced that Creighton will lag that far behind. The number is a touch low for my liking and is one I’d much rather get involved with than the lofty point spread.
Pick: Over 158 (-110 at Bovada Sportsbook)