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The 18th-Ranked Blue Jays Look to Improve to 20-4 inside the Hinkle Fieldhouse

Creighton looks for its 20th win of the season within the unfriendly confines of Hinkle Fieldhouse against a struggling Butler squad that has lost five of its last six games.  Creighton has the depth and talent to make a serious run in the NCAA Tournament, and it all begins with an explosive offense that is averaging 80.5 points per game on 48.9% shooting from the field and 41.9% from beyond the arc.  What is even more impressive is the fact that the Blue Jays are 6-4 SU and ATS on the road this season where they are averaging 77.1 points per game on 47.6% shooting from the floor and 43.2% from three-point territory.  Overall, Creighton is 11.4 points per game better than average offensively (80.5 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 69.1 points per game), which is certainly good enough to have success against a decent Butler defense.

Butler is allowing 67.2 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.0 points per game, thereby making the Blue Jays 3.8 points per game better than average defensively.  However, the Bulldogs are limiting opponents to just 65.8 points per game at home on 29.5% shooting from beyond the arc, which is significant in that the Blue Jays average 25 three-point field goal attempts per game.  Overall, Creighton possesses a solid 7.6 points per game advantage offensively over the Bulldogs’ stop unit.

The bigger concern for Butler is its struggling offense that is averaging a woeful 58.2 points over its last five games. On the season, the Bulldogs are 0.2 points per game worse than average offensively (70.0 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 70.2 points per game), which gives Creighton a 6.0 points per game advantage defensively in this contest.  Butler investors should also be aware of the fact that Creighton has been playing excellent defense over its last five games, limiting opponents to a mere 65.4 points per game on 40.7% shooting from the field and 29.8% from three-point territory.

Creighton also possesses advantages under the glass and at the free throw line.  Specifically, Creighton is making 74.8% of its free throws this season (73.1% on the road), whereas the Bulldogs are shooting just 67.4% from the charity stripe, including 65.5% at home.  The technical analysis slightly favors Creighton as the Blue Jays are 30-19 ATS as favorites and 19-9 ATS after winning five of its last seven games, whereas Butler is 2-8 ATS following a conference game and 0-6 ATS at home with revenge.  The only concerns for Creighton investors is the fact that the Blue Jays are 1-9 ATS in the month of February and 1-10 ATS after winning 15 or more of their last twenty games.

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