The Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament is underway with the South Region featuring No. 15 Princeton facing No. 6 Creighton from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on TBS, as the Tigers look to extend their miraculous run while the Bluejays stand in their way.
Let’s preview this matchup and predict the final score.
No. 15 Princeton vs. No. 6 Creighton Prediction
Vegas isn’t wrong in pegging Creighton to walk away as victors in this matchup given how they eliminated Baylor in the Round of 32. The Bluejays put together an offensive assault, jumping out to a 12-2 run in the first half to build a 10-point lead heading into halftime. From there on out, Creighton never relinquished the lead and allowed the Bears to get within five points at the closest. A 30-point performance from Ryan Nembhard spearheaded the Bluejays’ win, and it’ll likely take another strong scoring display to help them advance to the Elite Eight.
Creighton scores at an average clip of 76.7 PPG, ranking 59th in the country, which helps offset what has largely been an above-average display on the defensive end. They shot 47.3 percent from the field and an incredible 45.8 percent from deep against Baylor. The Bluejays do have an efficient offense, but can you expect them to put together another hot shooting performance in back-to-back games?
That’s where Princeton can potentially upset the Bluejays and extend their cinderella story for one more chapter. The Tigers have played excellent defense through the first two rounds of the tournament, allowing just 59.0 PPG to their opponents, which is seventh-best among the field. They’re also excellent in crashing the glass, outrebounding opponents by 6.6 per game, which ranks 11th in the nation.
If Creighton fails to put up another miraculous shooting performance from deep, and as long as the Tigers continue to play stout defense and battle for boards, Princeton should confidently be able to hang around and give the Bluejays a run for their money. I still think the Bluejays’ offensive arsenal, led by five players that averaged double-digit scoring in the regular season, will prove too much for the Tigers’ defense.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Creighton -9.5
Moneyline: Creighton -550, Princeton +400
Prediction: Creighton 76, Princeton 67