Texas Tech Red Raiders @ Creighton Blue Jays / NCAAB 2022 Predictions & Preview

The highly touted Creighton Blue Jays will receive their first real test of the season on Monday afternoon when they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The highly touted Creighton Blue Jays will receive their first real test of the season on Monday afternoon when they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The best game of Big Monday will kick off the Maui Invitational and is scheduled for a 2:30 PM EST tip. The Blue Jays are a (-1) favorite, with the total currently set at 123.5 points.

Greg McDermott’s team enters the game with a pristine 4-0 record but has yet to play a team that currently ranks within the Kenpom top 200. In their most recent contest, Creighton blew the doors off of UC-Riverside by a final tally of 80-51. The Highlanders kept respectable for a half, but the Blue Jays outscored them 39-23 in the second half to bloat the final score.

Texas Tech has played a similarly weak schedule to this point but was able to neutralize the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Monday. The Red Raiders jumped out to an early 22-5 lead before relinquishing most of it before the half. Mark Adams then leaned on his trademark defensive “grind it out” style to earn the 64-55 victory.

The meeting between the two top 25 teams will be the first since hooking up in November of 2019. The Blue Jays came away victorious in overtime by a score of 83-76.

Marcus Zegarowski led Creighton with 32 points, while Davide Moretti paced the Red Raiders with 23. Prior to that, the two programs have met just three other times, with Creighton coming away victorious in two of them.

Texas Tech Red Raiders Overview

The Red Raiders return just one starter from their 27-win team in 2021-22. Forward Kevin Obanor started all 37 games for Mark Adams last season and has returned to lead the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game while second in rebounding at 6.3 per contest.

The former Oral Roberts star has scored double figures in each of his last two games and is shooting 50% from the field and 42.6% from deep on the season.

Following a massive loss in production, coach Mark Adams hit the transfer portal with authority. De’Vion Harmon, a former top 50 recruit, joined the Red Raiders program after stints at Oklahoma and Oregon. So far, he has been fantastic for Adams, averaging a career-high in field goal percentage, assists, and steals.

Kerwin Walton, a North Carolina transfer, has been providing over six points per game off of the Tech bench this season. The career 39% shooter from deep has yet to find his stroke this season but should flourish in the slow-it-down, deliberate offensive style that coach Adams prefers.

Texas Tech was also able to lure Utah Valley big man Fardaws Aimaq to Lubbock but lost him to a broken foot prior to the first game of the season. Sophomore Daniel Batcho has filled in admirably thus far, recording nine points and seven rebounds per game as well a six-block performance against Louisiana Tech.

One of the keys to this matchup will be whether or not Batcho can defend veteran center Ryan Kalkbrenner without getting into foul trouble.

Texas Tech is just 1-2 on the season against the number, underperforming the spread by -1.3 points per contest. Their average margin of victory is +19 points per game, with the total having gone under in all three games this season.

Creighton Blue Jays Overview

The Blue Jays experienced some key departures during the offseason as well. Last season’s leading scorer and All-Conference selection, Ryan Hawkins, is no longer with the program after scoring 13.8 points and grabbing 7.8 rebounds per game last season.

Alex O’Connell, another double-digit per game scorer, also exhausted his eligibility after providing the best season of his career in 2021-22.

Coach Greg McDermott is instead leaning on a group of youngsters to provide the scoring punch, and so far, they have been up to the task. Sophomore guards Trey Alexander and Ryan Nembhard both performed admirably as a freshman and have continued to develop in their sophomore season.

Alexander leads the team in steals per game and is third on the team in scoring and averaging more than five rebounds per game. Nembhard leads the team at nearly seven assists per game to go along with seven points.

Another sophomore, Arthur Kaluma, is also having a tremendous start to the season, averaging 13.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. Third-year sophomore Kalkbrenner leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 16.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Contrary to reputation, the total has gone over in just two of the Blue Jays’ four games so far this season. After establishing itself as one of the faster-paced programs in the nation, coach McDermott has migrated to a more deliberate and efficient style. That change has seen the program return to the success experienced in the early 2010s.

The Blue Jays are just 2-2 against the spread on the season but boast a margin of victory of more than 26 points per game.

Texas Tech vs. Creighton Prediction

This game will be a grind from tip to buzzer as both teams rank outside the top 200 in tempo. While Creighton ranks within the top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, the Red Raiders rank outside the top 60 on the offensive side.

The Red Raiders’ lack of shooting prowess is the concerning factor in this game, along with a thin frontcourt. The safest bet here is to take the under though the Red Raiders have not seen this type of offense yet on the season.

Take the Blue Jays to the game straight up in a contest that finishes with a margin of fewer than five points.

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