UAB BLAZERS (1-0)
at CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS (1-0)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: Creighton -16.5
No. 15 Creighton and UAB meet for a second straight season when the teams do battle in Omaha Wednesday night.
A year ago in Birmingham, Doug McDermott scored 27 points on 18 shots to lead Creighton to a 70-60 win in the season’s opener. Creighton is 7-3-1 ATS against non-conference teams the past two seasons. UAB won its opener under first-year head coach Jerod Haase, hammering Division II Young Harris College. UAB hasn’t beaten a ranked team on the road since 1998.
Will Creighton justify the big spread? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. On Tuesday, the experts went a collective 8-1 ATS (89%) on Best Bets with the only loss coming in a game where two experts disagreed. For the season, the group is a collective 21-13-1 ATS (62%) on Best Bets, with all four experts at 57% ATS or better.
Creighton returned an All-America in coach’s son McDermott. After averaging 22.9 PPG on 60.1% FG a year ago, he picked up where he left off in the opener, scoring 12 on 6-for-11 FG in an easy win over North Texas. The Bluejays’ one major departure from last year’s team was PG Antoine Young. Sophomore Austin Chatman looked solid replacing him in the opener, going for 11 points on 4-for-7 FG and two assists, but also turning it over four times in his first career start.
The Blazers didn’t receive much resistance in Haase’s debut, beating Young Harris 105-59. F Jordan Swing led six players in double-figures with 17 points, and the Blazers shot 11-for-21 (52.4%) from three. Swing had 14 against Creighton a year ago, and reserve G Jekore Tyler added 14 in 16 minutes off the bench, a career high he broke in this year’s opener (15).