Yes Dorothy, Kansas did cover that 16-point spread last night. On Tuesday night, Coach Rick brings you a Big East showdown featuring the conference’s all-time leading scorer. No. 19 Marquette and the spry Markus Howard welcome No. 15 Creighton to the Fiserv Forum for what should be an entertaining basketball game that ultimately has some great wagering value.
Game: Creighton Bluejays (20-6, 14-9-2 ATS) at Marquette Golden Eagles (17-7, 16-8 ATS)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Current Line: MARQ -3 Total: 154
TV Coverage: Fox Sports 1
The Big East race has become very interesting as the teams head into the final weeks of the regular season.
Head coach Greg McDermott and the Bluejays are on a roll having won their last three straight and seven of their last eight. One of their recent victories was an 87-82 win over first-place Seton Hall.
Big East Could be Creighton’s
Now 9-4 in Big East play, Creighton is in position to win the conference. With the win over Seton Hall – 10-3 in the Big East – the Bluejays could play for the conference title when they host the Pirates at home on the final day of the regular season, March 7.
Creighton will have to get past Marquette first. That is something the Bluejays did earlier this season. On New Year’s Day at home, Creighton got 24 points from Mitch Ballock and 21 more from Ty-Shon Alexander to defeat the Golden Eagles 92-75.
Creighton Men's Basketball vs. Marquette Highlights - Jan. 1, 2020
Alexander is the Bluejays leading scorer averaging 16.7 points per game. Ballock also scores in double figures (12.3 ppg) as do Denzel Mahoney (12.6) and Marcus Zegarowski (15.8).
One thing Creighton can do is score.
They are in the top-30 in the nation in scoring averaging 78.3 points per game.
Marquette Also Has a Shot
Marquette, 7-5 in Big East play, is one of the five ranked schools in the conference. With a little help, the Golden Eagles could also be in a position to win it all. Marquette also has a remaining game with Seton Hall and has already played Villanova twice. The Golden Eagles beat the Wildcats 71-60 earlier in the season.
Like their opponent on Tuesday, Marquette needs to win to have any chance of remaining in the thick of the conference race.
It begins and ends with the nation’s leading scorer, Markus Howard. The 5-foot-11-inch guard is one of the country’s most exciting players. Howard averages 27.3 points per game. He is dynamic and can take the ball to the basket, but he is at his best shooting long-range jumpers.
Howard shot just 6-of-16 and scored 18 points when Marquette lost to Creighton earlier this season. He will be the key for the Golden Eagles on Tuesday night. Marquette is 12-1 at home this season. The only loss was by one point, 81-80, to Providence.
Follow the Dog
Creighton won last year’s game at Marquette, 66-60, as a seven-point underdog. More importantly, the Bluejays are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games this season. Marquette has had a tough time against the spread when playing Creighton. The Golden Eagles are just 2-4 ATS in their last six home games versus the Bluejays.
That said, this game should be a dogfight and will end up a close one. Creighton will cover the 3-point spread.
Today’s NCAAB Free Pick Against the Spread: Creighton +3
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.