Doug McDermott

Creighton beats DePaul, McDermott continues to climb in the record books

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Creighton didn’t play their crispest game of the season. They shot just 46.4% from the field and 28% from three — two fairly decent percentages for most teams — and got hammered on the offensive and defensive glass all night. That Doug McDermott guy, though? He was in his usual form, leading Creighton to a 78-66 win over DePaul.

McDermott dropped in 32 points, eclipsing the 30 point mark for the eighth time this season. In the process, he surpassed former Duke guard J.J. Redick on the all-time scoring list, moving up to 17th. Next up on the list is former Tennessee sharpshooter Allan Houston.

As for the game itself, Creighton was playing without guard Devin Brooks tonight. It was reported Brooks wasn’t even in the arena due to an illness, and whether he will be ready to play at St. John’s this coming Sunday is unknown at this time.

For about 33 minutes tonight, Creighton looked like they were in a funk. Perhaps it was the extended time off in between their game before DePaul, St. John’s about a week and a half ago on January 28th. Not having Brooks in the lineup definitely hurt, especially from a rebounding perspective. Although a guard who stands at 6-foot-2, Brooks is a solid rebounder and does many things on the floor that don’t always go noticed for Creighton.

Of course, a home game against Big East cellar dweller on a Friday evening prior to flying out to New York to play St. John’s on Sunday, may have been viewed as the classic trap game. The Bluejays already smoked DePaul earlier this season, 81-62.

When the Blue Demons made it 59-58 with 7:36 remaining, McDermott scored 11 of Creighton’s next 14 points — nine of which came from the free throw line — to dispose any chance of a DePaul upset win.

In looking ahead to Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden, Creighton figures to be greatly challenged by St. John’s. A few weeks ago, the Johnnies looked all but dead. They were 9-8 overall and 0-5 in the Big East, but they have won five of their past six games to vault to the middle of the Big East standings, and now have renewed hope of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

The last time these two teams met, Doug McDermott did this.

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.