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Back on the Bubble: Georgetown Visits Creighton Saturday

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NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Game 27: Georgetown Hoyas (16-10, 6-7) at Creighton Bluejays (14-13, 5-9)

When: Saturday, 230pm

Where: CenturyLink Center

Series: Creighton leads 7-6, Bluejays won last meeting 91-87 on Jan 21

TV: FOX (Justin Kutcher & Steve Lavin)

Radio: WOL 1450AM (Rich Chvotkin)

NET Ranking: Creighton 56, Georgetown 69

KenPom Ranking: Creighton 52, Georgetown 74

KenPom Projection: Creighton 83, Georgetown 77 (71 percent)

Line: Creighton -5.5

It’s the last weekend before March and the Hoyas have yet another chance to improve their resume in search of their first postseason bid in four seasons.

So far this season Georgetown has avenged each of its conference losses in the second match-up going 3-0 in such games. That streak will surely be put to the test in Omaha on Saturday as the Hoyas haven’t won on Creighton’s raucous home court since 2015. Creighton has won four straight in the series.

The Hoyas picked up their biggest win of the season – and of coach Patrick Ewing’s career – by finally knocking off No. 17 Villanova during the week as Jessie Govan and Mac McClung each had 21 points while James Akinjo had 10 points and nine assists. Georgetown had 23 assists on 29 made buckets and held a 22-9 edge in bench points on a night where the Hoyas nearly led wire to wire.

Creighton – who needs to win out just to finish .500 in the league – snapped a four game slide in beating DePaul on Wednesday. The Bluejays have pretty good numbers in both the NET and KenPom which still have them in the mix for a third straight NCAA Tournament bid. A loss to Georgetown could be a bit of a knockout blow as it will be hard to make the Big Dance at 8-10 in this year’s version of the BIG EAST.

Earlier this season Creighton won for the second straight time at Capital One Arena as the Hoyas didn’t have an answer for Ty-Shon Alexander (26 points, 6 for 11 on 3-pointers). The Bluejays scored 50 points in the second half of their 91-87 victory as five players finished in double-figures.

Creighton hit 13 3-pointers and made more free throws (18) than Georgetown attempted (16).

Georgetown needs to build on that massive victory over Villanova by putting in a solid performance in a hostile environment. All season long Ewing has talked about how his team is still growing with so many freshmen in the starting line-up. As March approaches the freshmen aren’t really freshmen anymore and it’s now or never for a program that could really use the bump that a late run to the postseason would provide going into Ewing’s 3rd year.

RACE TO MSG

Thanks to losses by both Seton Hall and St. John’s during the week, the Hoyas enter the weekend just a half game behind third place. Georgetown’s second ever at Creighton would put them tied in the loss column for third as the Johnnies and Pirates play on Saturday night.

Like always, there’s a flip side to the BIG EAST standings as Georgetown is just a loss away from the nearing the cellar. Hoyas need to avoid a loss and distance themselves from that Wednesday night doubleheader of dread in the BET.

PREDICTION

Georgetown 92, Creighton 77 – The Hoyas get back to .500 in the league for the fifth time this season setting up their biggest game with DePaul since the 90’s.