Creighton (MVC) at Xavier (Atlantic 10)
Cintas Center - Cincinnati, OH
8:00 PM EST
Another day, another great mid-matchup. Here are two teams that made the 2007 NCAA Tournament, both with issues of production replacement, but both are putting up solid numbers in the early going.
Creighton (5-0) has had the better of this series recently, winning the past three in what's come to be a yearly meeting. But they've been great games -- the average margin of victory has been three in that trio of victories. The Bluejays were a Valley afterthought in the summer polls but could use this game as a stern reminder to Hoops Nation not to sleep on them. In their five early wins against no defeats, their defense has been super-solid, allowing just 54 points a game and allowing a measly .75 points per possession. On the offensive end, CU might have replaced their guard production after a flurry of graduations -- P'Allen Stinnett
(12.2 ppg) is a strong POY candidate, and 5-10 sophomore juco newcomer Cavel Witter has given Altman's Army a real boost with his 10.0 ppg and exceptional foul shooting.
Speaking of offense, Xavier (6-1) has put up an average of 83 points a game so far, including two straight 90-plus performances against Belmont and Oakland. The Muskies have six double-figure scorers, and three of them are over 6-6... looks like they're going to be just fine without the two frontcourt Justins (Cage and Doellman). Former Manhattan Jasper C.J. Anderson
, with his 12.7 ppg and 6.4 rpg, is a nice addition. Did we mention the X plays defense too? Only 59 points per game allowed, and opponent sharpshooters are firing at a very dull 28 percent rate from 3. It promises to be a great game.XU 79, CREI 66