Creighton vs. Tennessee March Madness Preview and Prediction

In a No. 3 vs. No. 2 matchup in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region, the Creighton Bluejays face the Tennessee Volunteers in Sweet 16 action.

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How to Watch Creighton vs. Tennessee

When: 10:09 p.m. ET on Friday March 29

Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI

Watch: TBS/truTV

Odds for Creighton vs. Tennessee

(odds current at time of publish)

Spread: Tennessee -2

Total: 143

DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | Creighton vs. Tennessee Matchup

Midwest Region No. 3 Creighton Bluejays

Creighton is pretty loaded this season with Trey Alexander, Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Kalkbrenner all being excellent players. Alexander is capable of scoring in a variety of different ways, and he’s also a very good passer and defender. Scheierman is a sniper from deep and is also a good rebounder for a player his size. On top of that, he constantly sets his teammates up, whether it’s with his passing or his overall gravity. Finally, Kalkbrenner is a massive body that can finish around the basket and protect the rim with the best of them. He can also really move his feet for a guy that stands at 7-foot-1, making him the perfect anchor for a Bluejays defense that is top 25 in the nation. And Creighton is even better on the offensive end. That speaks to this team’s balance. The Bluejays are as talented as anyone, and they play a winning brand of basketball.

Midwest Region No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee is always an elite defensive team and this year’s group is top five in adjusted defensive efficiency. Rick Barnes has always been able to count on his guys to be tough as nails on that end of the floor. The difference with this year’s team is that the group is very good offensively. Barnes added Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht in the transfer portal, and the senior is a threat to put up 20 every night. And his ability to shoot the 3-ball has completely opened things up for his teammates. The sky’s the limit now for a Tennessee team that made the Sweet 16 last year and returned a majority of those rotation players. Perhaps Barnes will finally exorcize his March demons.

Creighton vs. Tennessee Preview & Prediction

Creighton prevailed in double overtime in the “Dana Altman Bowl: College Basketball Edition”, as it took 10 additional minutes for the Bluejays to come away with a 13-point win over the Ducks. Tennessee had some harrowing moments against Texas in the “Rick Barnes Bowl”, as their head coach also had plenty of history with the opposing program.

The 2 and 3 seeds held up in the bottom of the Midwest Region to set up this game and what an intriguing game it is. As we know, Creighton takes a lot of jump shots and Greg McDermott’s squad has gone 25-of-56 from 3 in the tournament thus far, while also holding both opponents under a point per possession. Meanwhile, opponents are 11-for-47 from 3 against the Volunteers.

It is worth noting that Tennessee topped Texas in a game where the Vols shot 3-of-25 from 3 and SEC Player of the Year Dalton Knecht was 5-of-18 from the floor. While Knecht certainly needs to find his shot between now and the Sweet 16 matchup, at least Tennessee can grab a silver lining or two from the fact that they were able to prevail with an inefficient shooting performance from their top offensive weapon.

Both teams graded well in a lot of areas up until this point, but in a battle of two elite defenses, does the one that actually forces some turnovers have the upper hand? Creighton ranks dead last in the nation in TO%, but it hasn’t mattered a whole lot because they’ve made shots and valued their own possessions. Tennessee has not only made life difficult for opponents when it comes to making shots, but also when it comes to holding on to the basketball.

These are two terrific basketball teams and this is the type of matchup that you would want in the Sweet 16, but it is fair to wonder if the Vols can either make enough shots or defend well enough to hold serve in Detroit.

Estimated Score: Tennessee 73.5 – Creighton 70.6

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