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College basketball picks: Prediction for No. 1 UConn vs. No. 18 Creighton on Wednesday

The newly-dubbed No. 1 Huskies face a tough task against the Bluejays in a Big East matchup. We go over the odds and make a prediction.

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 18 Creighton Bluejays take on the No. 1 UConn Huskies in a high-profile Big Eas t matchup on Wednesday, January 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET from Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

Creighton (13-4) lands at No. 13 overall at KenPom and 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Bluejays are fresh off a one-point win over St. John’s that extended their latest winning streak to four games. Losses this season have come at the hands of Marquette, UNLV, Villanova, and Colorado State.

The Bluejays allow opponents to score just 65.6 points per game (33rd in the nation), and lead the country in defensive rebounds per game with an average of 29.4. Keep an eye on their success on the boards in this matchup — in each of their two most recent losses, the biggest stat margin came in rebounds, as Marquette and Villanova severely outmatched the Bluejays there. Guard Baylor Scheierman leads the team with 18 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

UConn (15-2) ranks eighth at KenPom and third in adjusted offensive efficiency. They average 83.1 points per game (20th in the nation) on a 50.8% clip (fourth in the nation). They also average 18.5 assists per game (10th in the nation).

The Huskies’ losses this season have come against Seton Hall and Kansas, and their best wins have come against Xavier and North Carolina. They have plenty of scoring depth — while guard Cam Spencer leads the team with 15.6 points per game, five players average in the double digits in scoring.

UConn’s Donovan Clingan is questionable to return for this game after missing a few weeks with a foot injury, and if he can go he should be able to aid in neutralizing Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner down low. The Bluejays played it close against St. John’s and struggled from the perimeter, while UConn has yet to lose at home this season

Creighton vs. UConn odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: UConn -6.5
Total: 144
Moneyline: UConn -278, Creighton +225

Pick: UConn -6.5