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Creighton vs. Tennessee Expert Pick – March 29, 2024

Creighton vs. Tennessee Expert Pick – March 29, 2024

CREIGHTON VS. TENNESSEE EXPERT PICK – MARCH 29, 2024 – The final game of the Sweet 16 will be played between Creighton and Tennessee on TBS and truTV on Friday at 10:10 p.m. EST.

The Bluejays were an Elite Eight team last season, and the Volunteers lost in the Sweet 16 to FAU, who went on to the Final Four. Both teams are full of experience and well-coached, which makes for a great matchup between two teams who have been consistently in the AP Top 25 this season.

Check out the Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks page.

Related: Sweet 16 Power Rankings

The Odds 







(23-9 SU) 






(24-8 SU)






When: Friday, March 29 at 10:09 p.m. EST 

Where: Little Caesar’s Arena, Detroit, MI


Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 27th, 2024

Creighton vs. Tennessee Head-To-Head

Creighton breezed past Akron in the first round, 77 to 60, but got tested in the second round by Oregon. The game went into double OT, but the Bluejays outscored the tired Ducks team in the final overtime period to win by 12, 86 to 73.

Creighton relied heavily on the three, shooting 15 of 39 in the contest and 92.9% from the line. Baylor Scheierman and Trey Alexander played 50 minutes in that contest, and Ryan Kalkbrenner played 49, so the rest days between rounds were necessary.

Tennessee coasted by Saint Peter’s in the first round, 83 to 49, but had a hard-fought victory in the second round over the Texas Longhorns. They won 62 to 58 but almost squandered a nine-point lead at the half.

The Longhorns struggled early but made some clutch shots down the stretch that kept them in the game. They also held the Volunteers to three of 25 from three, which cannot happen against Creighton. In the end, Rick Barnes got a well-deserved victory over his former team and a second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.

Related: Alabama vs. North Carolina Pick and Prediction

Creighton vs. Tennessee In-Season Trends

The Bluejays are the definition of “live by the three, die by the three.” Three-pointers account for 39.9% of their points this season, which ranks ninth in the nation. They are the 11th-ranked offense in adjusted efficiency, according to KenPom, and will be facing the third-ranked defense in that category.

Tennessee has held their opponents to a 45% effective field goal percentage this season, but they allow teams to attempt 24.1 three-pointers per game. They hold teams to 30.9% from deep, but Creighton is not like other teams.

Creighton has three players who shoot better than 33% from behind the arc: Scheierman (37.9%!), Alexander (33.5%), and Steven Ashworth (34.1%). They take a lot of threes and make a lot of them. The team averages 10.7 made threes per game at a 36.6% clip. The Vols must defend the perimeter in this matchup and force them into uncomfortable shots.

Tennessee is the 29th-ranked offense, and Creighton is ranked 23rd in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency category.

There is a reason both teams made it this far in the tournament. Dalton Knecht, a transfer from Northern Colorado, leads this Volunteers team. He immediately impacted this season and is their leading scorer at 21.1 points per game. Zakai Zeigler is a catalyst for the offense, however. He is a junior who has played 99 career games for the team.

Zeigler averages six assists per game, with 11.7 points and 1.8 steals. Barnes trusts 2024 SEC Defensive Player of the Year as much as anyone he has ever coached, and it shows on the court. He played the entire game against Texas and will likely play most minutes against Creighton.

The Vols need to pound the ball inside against this Creighton defense. They allow teams to attempt 66.4 field goals per game, which plays into Tennessee’s pace. Tennessee averages 15.9 seconds per possession and likes to turn defense into offense. They must convert from the field, as Creighton only allows the team to attempt 10.4 free throws per game, which is the best in the country. Knecht and Jonas Aidoo must be on their A-game because the Bluejays will not bail them out and send them to the line.

The Pick

Creighton and Greg McDermott have one of the most experienced teams in the nation and should have no problem showing up under the lights in Detroit. They will have their hands full with another experienced team in Tennessee, but the big three of Scheierman, Alexander, and Kalkbrenner have had two years together, which should shine through in this matchup.

Trent’s Picks

Creighton +3

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