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No. 5 SDSU vs. No. 6 Creighton preview, picks for Elite 8 of 2023 NCAA Tournament

The Aztecs and Bluejays meet at the KFC Yum! Center in the Elite Eight of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Princeton v Creighton Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs are headed to the Elite Eight after upsetting the No. 1 overall seed Alabama on Friday. They will face the No. 6 Creighton Bluejays on Sunday, March 26 at 2:20 p.m. ET at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The game will air on CBS.

No. 5 SDSU (30-6, 15-3 MWC)

First round result: Defeated Charleston, 63-57
Second round result: Defeated Furman, 75-52
Third round result: Defeated Alabama, 71-64
KenPom rating: 14 Overall, 64 Offense, 10 Defense
NET ranking: 14, (5-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Matt Bradley. 12.8 ppg
Key stat: Holds opponents to 28.2% from the three-point line (3rd in the nation)

SDSU did the seemingly impossible on Friday night, knocking off No. 1 Alabama in a shocking upset. The Mountain West’s tournament drought is truly over as the Aztecs advance to the second weekend. SDSU leaned into their suffocating defense to keep the first half a low-scoring affair — Bama grabbed just 23 points in the first 20 minutes. The Tide were held to just 11.1% from the three and 32.4% from the field. SDSU’s Darrion Trammell had 21 points.

No. 6 Creighton (24-12, 14-6 Big East)

First round result: Defeated NC State, 72-63
Second round result: Defeated Baylor, 85-76
Third round result: Defeated Princeton, 86-75
KenPom rating: 13 Overall, 27 Offense, 15 Defense
NET ranking: 17, (3-8 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Ryan Kalkbrenner, 15.4 ppg
Key stat: Scores 8.8 threes per game (42nd in the nation)

Creighton ended Princeton’s Cinderella run on Friday and are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1941. The Bluejays were led by Ryan Kalkbrenner and Baylor Scheierman, who combined for 43 points. Creighton was 58.2% from the field and won the rebounding battle, something that Princeton’s opponents had failed to do up to this point in the tournament.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Creighton -2
Point total: 133.5
Moneyline: Creighton -135, SDSU +115

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: SDSU +2
Point total pick: Under 133.5
Pick to Win: SDSU +115

I’ve been a San Diego State doubter for a lot of this tournament, betting against them at almost every turn, but that Alabama win showed that they are the real deal. The Aztecs’ defense is a suffocating unit that will be tough for Creighton to break, especially from the three-point line.