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Akron vs. Creighton Expert Pick – March 21, 2024

Akron vs. Creighton Expert Pick – March 21, 2024

AKRON VS. CREIGHTON EXPERT PICK – MARCH 21, 2024 – Thursday’s third game is the 3-14 matchup between the Akron Zips and Creighton Bluejays.

Creighton is the 11th-ranked team overall on KenPom, and it could be a tall task for Akron, but they have an experienced team capable of being competitive with anyone.

Their head coach, John Groce, also has lots of experience taking mid-major teams to the tournament, so we will see how it plays out.

Check out the Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks page.

The Odds 







(24-10 SU) 






(23-9 SU) 






When: Thursday, March 21 at 12:30 pm EST 

Where: PPG Points Arena, Pittsburgh, PA


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 19th, 2024

Akron vs. Creighton Head-To-Head

Akron won the MAC tournament as the second seed by defeating eighth-seed Kent State 62 to 61. A player from Kent State fouled up one with 6.2 seconds left because he did not know they had taken the lead. It was an awful way to lose the game for Kent State, but Akron converted the free throws and won the automatic bid. The Zips closed the regular season by dropping five of their final 10 games and finished 13-5 in conference play.

Creighton finished second in the Big East during the regular season but lost their first game in the tournament to Providence, 78-73. It was their second loss to Providence this season, who seems to have had their number. They finished the regular season winning seven out of eight games, including wins over Connecticut and Marquette, who ranked in the top five (one and five, respectively).

Akron vs. Creighton In-Season Trends

The Zips may have earned a bid by a fluke foul, but they are a legitimate threat to any team in this tournament. They have a well-balanced offense that revolves around Enrique Freeman. He averages 18.6 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Guards Ali Ali and Greg Tribble also averaged double-digit points per game. Akron is the 22nd most experienced team in the nation, according to KenPom, but they are going up against the eighth oldest team in Creighton.

Creighton is led by their “big three,” Baylor Scheierman, Trey Alexander, and Ryan Kalkbrenner. Kalkbrenner is a 7’1’’ center averaging 17.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and three blocks per game.

Alexander is one of the better guards in the country, averaging 17.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. Scheierman is one of the best shooters in the country. He shoots 44.8% from the field, 37.2% from three, and 86.8% from the line. He also stuffs the stat sheet, averaging 18.4 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and one steal per game.

Related: Boise State vs. Colorado Pick and Prediction

The matchup between Kalkbrenner and Freeman is likely the most intriguing in this matchup. Freeman is one of the better defensive bigs in the country and could hold Kalkbrenner in check around the rim, but he could also held in check on the offensive end.

Creighton’s offense could struggle from behind the arc in this matchup. They score 39.5% of their points from three and shoot 36.1% as a team. Akron holds their opponents to just 30% from behind the arc, which could make this game closer than the spread lets on.

The Pick

The fashion in which the Akron Zips got into the tournament may give the public the wrong idea of this team. They are a talented squad with lots of experienced players, as well as a tournament-tested coach.

Greg McDermott has a 9-8 record in the NCAA Tournament with Creighton and coached them to the Elite Eight last season. Many of those players returned, including their “big three,” which should be able to win this game, but it may not be easy.

Akron +12.5

Trent’s Picks 

 Nevada -1 



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