Doug McDermott

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Creighton

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Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Missouri Valley

Coach: Greg McDermott

Record: 27-7, 13-5

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 15
– RPI: 32
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Creighton as a No. 9 seed in Friday’s Bracket Projection, but another win over Wichita State and a duel-MVC title might be enough to push them out of that 8-9 game.

Names you need to know: Doug McDermott (23.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg), Greg Echenique (9.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 bpg)

Stats you need to know: Creighton is second nationally when it comes to shooting from beyond the arc, hitting 42.0% of their threes.

Tendencies: Everyone knows the story about Creighton at this point: they have Doug McDermott, they spread the floor and shoot a lot of threes, and they can struggle on the defensive end of the floor. When they get stops — Indiana State scored 0.73 PPP and Drake scored 0.84 PPP in the first two MVC tournament games — they win.

Big wins, bad losses: The Bluejays have some good non-conference wins — Wisconsin, Arizona State, Akron, Cal — and picked up a pair of wins over Wichita State in the last two days. They do have a couple poor league losses, however: Indiana State, Drake, Northern Iowa.

How’d they get here?: Creighton capped off a five-game winning streak that netted them two MVC titles over Wichita State in the span of eight days. They won the league’s autobid on Sunday with a 68-65 win over the Shockers.

Outlook: Creighton’s a dangerous team. For starters, they have an all-american on their roster in Doug McDermott, a forward that is a lights-out perimeter shooter that moves as well as anyone in the country without the ball and can score in the post. They have a pair of playmakers in the back court and shooters up and down their lineup. They can score and, as they proved in the regular season finale, they can put on unreal shooting displays — they were 22-26 from two, 11-21 from three and 14-16 from the free throw line in a 91-79 win over Wichita State. The irony? Creighton’s best chance to advance past the opening round may have been losing in the first round of the MVC tournament and getting out of that 8-9 game.

How do I know you? Creighton is the home of Doug McDermott and company. The Bluejays beat Alabama last season before falling to North Carolina in the third round.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons. Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.