Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Creighton Bluejays Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 3rd 2023


In-state bragging rights — and maybe a national ranking — are on the line Sunday when Nebraska hosts No. 15 Creighton in a nonconference game in Lincoln, Neb.

The host Cornhuskers (7-0) are off to their best start since the 1992-93 season and have won every game by at least 10 points. They received votes in the most recent Associated Press poll, and a win over Creighton could get them into the Top 25 for the first time since Dec. 31, 2018.

“7-0 looks nice, but we’re definitely not there where we need to be,” forward Rienk Mast said after the Cornhuskers’ 85-72 win over Cal State-Fullerton on Nov. 26.

Creighton (6-1) comes to town having won 79-65 at Oklahoma State on Thursday night as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle. The Bluejays used a 19-2 run at the end of the first half to build an 18-point lead and then hold on for the victory in the third of four consecutive games away from home.

“Anytime you can go into somebody else’s building and execute the way we did, particularly in the first half on both ends of the floor, it’s a step in the right direction,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said.

Creighton’s previous two games were in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, where it beat Loyola Chicago before getting crushed 69-48 by then-unranked Colorado State.

Nebraska’s hot start has been despite not having its full roster available every game. Guard Keisei Tominaga missed the first two games with an ankle injury, while forward Juwan Gary was suspended for the first three contests, and the Cornhuskers are still missing multiple players expected to contribute this season.

Gary has averaged 16 points since returning, while Mast, Tominaga and Brice Williams are all averaging more than 14 per game. The Cornhuskers are averaging 42.9 rebounds per game, though the last two games have been more of a struggle on the boards.

“Now it’s about getting back to what we were doing earlier, especially on the defensive end,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I just feel like we’ve lost our edge a little bit on that side of the floor. We have to get back to rebounding, we have to get back to hitting, we have to get our physicality back.”

Creighton has three players averaging at least 15 per game, led by Baylor Scheierman’s 18.2. Scheierman is shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range and spearheads a Bluejays attack that attempts 30 triples per game.

Nebraska, though, allows only 26.2 percent shooting on 3-pointers.

“It’s going to take another great effort from us to be able to go in there and win,” McDermott said.

Creighton is 29-27 in the all-time series against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers won in Omaha last season, snapping a three-game win streak for the Bluejays in the series.

–Field Level Media

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