• My Scores
  • NFL
  • NCAA BB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • MLB

NCAA 2015

March Madness

Get the latest March Madness news >>

Play Bracket Games
Jerry Palm Predictions
Conference Tournaments
Play Now! Bracketology See all the brackets

Creighton vs Xavier

Time: 05:00 P.M. EST
  •  

(AP) - Big East co-leader Creighton will clinch the top seed in the conference tournament if it wins out, but it knows a 3-0 finish won't come easy.

The ninth-ranked Bluejays (23-4, 13-2) play their last two road games against opponents trying to raise their profiles for the postseason.

First up is Xavier on Saturday. The Musketeers (19-9, 9-6) are looking for help from their fans, selling standing-room tickets for the first time since the Cintas Center in Cincinnati opened in 2000. They've won 15 of 16 at home.

''Their crowd is going to be into it, and we have to be ready to match that,'' Creighton's Doug McDermott said. ''We have to match the intensity. They're going to sell it out, and that place historically has been a tough place to play.''

Creighton will visit Georgetown on Tuesday before closing the regular season at home against Providence on March 8. Villanova, tied with the Bluejays for the Big East lead, also faces Xavier and Georgetown after hosting Marquette on Sunday.

Creighton will be the top seed in the conference tournament should the teams remain tied by virtue of its head-to-head sweep of the Wildcats.

"We've put ourselves in a good position, and now we've got to see what we can do with it," coach Greg McDermott said. "Obviously, we're going to play three teams that are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives. And those are scary teams to play because they're going to throw everything but the kitchen table at you."

The Bluejays beat Xavier 95-89 and Georgetown 76-63 in Omaha last month and have won four straight since a road loss to St. John's. They escaped with a 72-71 home win over Seton Hall last Sunday.

''Nothing has been easy,'' Greg McDermott said. ''You can't have a game where you don't play at your best because, if you do, you're going to get beat. If you're not quite yourselves, you try to figure out a way to hang on. The Seton Hall game was proof of that. We weren't exactly as good as we'd like to be.''

Doug McDermott, the nation's leading scorer, has put up at least 25 points in seven straight games. He scored 35 in the first game against Xavier, and he knows he'll be a marked man by the Musketeers and their fans.

''I love it,'' he said. ''It's cool, just having everyone against you.''

The Bluejays were the dominant team in the Missouri Valley Conference the last 10 years, and they often represented the biggest challenge on opponents' schedules. They were something of an unknown early in their first season in the reconstituted Big East.

''Now that we're coming down to the end, and people have seen us once, and now they're seeing us for a second time, people want a piece of us a little more,'' guard Isaiah Zierden said. ''At the beginning, it was, `OK, Creighton, they were in the Valley. I think we can beat them.' Now they know what we can bring to the table, so it's a bigger game.''

Xavier has won four of six since a three-game skid, with its latest victory especially significant. Jalen Reynolds had season highs of 17 points and 16 rebounds in Tuesday's 65-53 win at St. John's that tied the Musketeers for third place in the conference.

Reynolds went scoreless in three minutes against the Bluejays earlier this season as Creighton overcame an early 12-0 deficit and 27 points from Xavier's top scorer, Semaj Christon.

The Musketeers set season highs for 3-point attempts (26) and makes (12) in that loss.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Villanova15-228-24
Butler11-621-925
Providence11-621-923
Georgetown11-619-921
St. Johns10-721-940
Xavier8-918-1243
Seton Hall6-1116-1374
DePaul6-1112-18167
Creighton4-1313-17129
Marquette3-1411-18149

Related Video

February 28, 2015
Creighton at Seton Hall recap (1:48)
March 5, 2015
Why is 3 Duke so successful?
(0:49)
March 5, 2015
San Diego State at UNLV recap
(2:01)
March 5, 2015
Fisher and O'Brien on close win over UNLV
(1:22)
 
 
 
 
Other Games
CIN 45 Final
CONN 51
MOST 45 Final
WICH 68
LOU 66 Final
MEMP 72
UNC 60 Final
VT 56
ILL 53 Final
MIST 46
LSU 61 Final
FLA 79
UT 65 Final
OKLA 77
UCF 55 Final
SMU 70
SYR 56 Final
UVA 75
STL 56 Final
VCU 67
MINN 56 Final
MICH 66
UK 67 Final
SC 72
ISU 73 Final
KSU 80
KAN 65 Final
OKST 72
SDSU 82 Final
FRES 67