Villanova Wildcats vs. Creighton Bluejays Pick & Prediction MARCH 9th 2024

A home victory by Villanova over No. 10 Creighton on Saturday in Philadelphia undoubtedly would impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

And a victory is much needed after the Wildcats (17-13, 10-9 Big East) fell 66-56 on the road against Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Eric Dixon scored 14 points and TJ Bamba added 11 to lead Villanova.

While a win over the Bluejays won’t guarantee an NCAA bid for the Wildcats, it certainly would improve their chances heading into the Big East Conference tournament.

“Our approach is that this is our Super Bowl,” Wildcats coach Kyle Neptune said of the Creighton game. “We’re going to come out and play as hard as we possibly can, and we’re going to lay it all out on the line.

“By the way, that’s the same thing we were thinking about [Wednesday]. Our approach hasn’t changed. We try to have that focus every time we come out.”

The Wildcats were outrebounded 39-29, and Seton Hall pulled down 12 on the offensive glass. That was the biggest difference in the crucial loss.

And the Wildcats know they need a win in the regular-season finale.

“We’re going to rise to the occasion because we’re built for it,” Bamba said. “We can take a step forward come Saturday. It’s another opportunity.”

Neptune guided Villanova to a 17-17 record and a loss in the first round of the NIT in his inaugural season as he replaced Hall of Fame member Jay Wright.

Creighton, with its NCAA Tournament bid all but wrapped up, will look to build on an impressive 89-75 victory over then-No. 5 Marquette last Saturday, thanks in large part to 26 points and 16 rebounds from Baylor Scheierman on an emotional Senior Day.

The Bluejays (22-8, 13-6) also received 19 points from Ryan Kalkbrenner and 18 points and 11 assists from Trey Alexander. Francisco Farabello scored 12 points in the balanced effort.

Alexander’s points-assists double-double was his second straight as he became the first Creighton player to accomplish the feat since Maurice Watson Jr. in 2016.

Scheierman was named Big East Player of the Week, the second time this season he has earned this honor.

“Last game in this building, last game probably in Nebraska in front of family and friends,” Scheierman said after the win over Marquette. “Just a special feeling, especially when the group is as close as we are.”

Every time the Golden Eagles threatened, Scheierman made big shots and grabbed clutch rebounds.

“Baylor’s a big-time player,” Farabello said. “And we know he’s going to appear in those moments.”

The Bluejays have won at least 20 games for the ninth season in a row. They still have a chance to secure the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.

Scheierman will arrive in Philadelphia playing the best basketball of his life. And he’s enjoyed the journey.

“I think the biggest blessing of this year is (that) it was just fun,” Scheierman said. “The season’s long. It can be a grind, and it is a grind, but with this group and the coaching staff, it’s just been so enjoyable. That’s something that will stick with me for a long time.”

–Field Level Media

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