March Madness Round 1: Akron vs Creighton Spreads & Final Score

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Akron vs Creighton Final Score

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The Akron Zips will take on the Creighton Bluejays in one of the first games on Thursday’s March Madness slate.

Creighton, a No. 3 seed in the Midwest, was matched up with the Akron Zips, a 14-seed. Creighton didn’t win the Big East this season. In fact, the Bluejays were knocked out in their first game of the tournament against Providence. However, they still finished with a 23-9 record and earned an at-large bid as a three-seed, which is on par with their NCAAB rankings this season.

The Akron Zips won the MAC to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Akron escaped Kent State despite trailing with a little over six seconds to go.

Kent State scored the go-ahead bucket, but a player on Kent State didn’t realize and fouled Akron with the lead. The Zips went to the foul line, nailed the two free throws, and won the MAC Tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Akron probably shouldn’t even be in this NCAA Tournament bracket right now. That’s why Creighton is a 12.5-point favorite at -115. Meanwhile, the total is currently at 139.5, with the Over slightly juiced to -115.

Take a look at the Akron vs Creighton spreads for this Midwest Region matchup.

Zips logo Akron vs Creighton Bluejays logo

Day/Time:
Location: PPG Paints Arena
Streaming: TNT

Akron vs Creighton Spreads & Trends

The Akron Zips are just 15-16-1 against the spread this year. Meanwhile, they’ve hit the Under in eight more games than the Over this season.

Creighton is 17-15 against the spread but has split the Over and Under evenly, with 16 Overs and 16 Unders this college basketball season.

Akron and Creighton have played each other three times since 2011. Akron won the first meeting as two-point favorites, but Creighton won the next two matchups from 2012 and 2016.

In that 2016 matchup, Creighton earned a 12-point win but were 12.5-point favorites in this college basketball game. It’s ironic that Creighton is again a 12.5-point favorite against Akron here.

Luck Is On Akron’s Side

The Akron Zips are going dancing for the second time in three seasons. This time, it might not be truly deserved. Kent State intentionally fouled the Zips despite the Golden Flashes leading with six seconds to go.

Akron still had to clinch the game with free throws and a defensive stop. However, the group has a bunch of seniors who have kept everyone together throughout the season.

They’re led by Enrique Freeman, Ali Ali, Greg Tribble Jr., and many other seniors who have helped develop this program into a winning program year after year.

Akron will need more luck in the NCAA Tournament. They’re 0-5 and have lost in the first round every single year that they’ve made it into March Madness.

The Big East Isn’t As Good As We Thought

Creighton has only lost nine games throughout the entire season. But its last one was an early exit in the Big East Tournament when Creighton fell to Providence in the quarterfinals.

Although Providence was on the brink of an NCAA Tournament invite, it didn’t get one, nor did St. John’s or Seton Hall.

That’s a bit alarming for Creighton. Are they set up for success despite not playing many high-level teams before the March Madness schedule?

While the Big East is a difficult conference, the committee didn’t see it that way. Creighton will have to put the Big East on its back, along with UConn and Marquette. We’ll see if they can prove the Big East’s worth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Round of 64 Matchup!

The Creighton offense is one of the best in the nation. The Creighton Bluejays have an effective field goal percentage of 57.5%, hitting 36.1% from deep and 60.6% from inside the arc.

That rate inside the arc is the third-best rate in college basketball. However, while Creighton is terrific from the floor, the Bluejays struggle on the offensive glass and really don’t get to the foul line much.

That’s not ideal, knowing Akron is typically good at limiting fouls.

Akron won’t send Creighton to the line much. They’ll also defend the three well, as Akron has only allowed 30% from downtown this season.

However, Creighton’s defense is also spectacular. The Bluejays don’t look to force turnovers, which is also why they have the best FTA/FGA ratio in America. Creighton is currently No. 1 with a 16.2 FTA/FGA ratio. They rarely send college basketball teams to the foul line.

In addition, the Bluejays have held teams to 32.2% from deep and 45.7% from inside the arc. They’ve also been a little unlucky, with teams shooting 78.7% from the foul line against them this season. If anything, that should regress, especially going up against a midmajor team with tons of pressure on them.

The Zips are much more trustworthy defensively. But how good can the defense play against a Creighton offense that ranks as one of the best in the nation?

We believe Creighton’s offense will blow Akron away. After all, senior guard Baylor Scheierman was very close to winning the Big East Player of the Year after adding 18.4 points per game with nine rebounds and four assists.

At least his teammate, Ryan Kalbrenner, earned the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award after adding three blocks per game this season.

That said, our NCAAB picks for the Akron vs Creighton spreads include Creighton at -12.5 (-115).

For NCAA basketball odds, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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