Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Fearless Predictions

Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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NCAA Tournament First Round: (5) Creighton (20-8) vs (12) UC Santa Barbara (22-4) prediction and college basketball game preview.


Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara Broadcast

Date: Saturday, March 20
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Network: truTV

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Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara Game Preview

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Why UC Santa Barbara Will Win

The Gauchos were the best in the Big West both in the regular season and the tournament, rolling through the last five games and winning 18 of their last 19.

They’re air-tight at doing all the little things right.

They don’t turn the ball over a ton, they move it around as well as anyone, and they play a tough defense that’s good enough at guarding the three.

With enough size to be a problem on the inside, they generate rebounds from all five spots and they use their ability to make the extra few passes to come up with a whole lot of easy points.

So what’s the problem?

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Why Creighton Will Win

It’s not that UCSB can’t score a ton – it’s been able to go off at times this year – it’s that it’s not necessarily built like Creighton is for a big-time shootout.

The Gauchos are fantastic from the field and they threes when they take them, but it doesn’t generate a whole ton of production from the outside – it only hit double-digit threes in one of the last 11 games.

Creighton might have face-planted in the 73-48 loss to Georgetown in the Big East tournament final, but it’s got the ability to turn the lights out in this if the threes start dropping early on.

Few teams in America take more shots from the outside, and it’s got the rebounding ability to at least hang on the boards if not win the rebounding margin.

College Basketball Experts Picks For Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara

What’s Going To Happen

Which Creighton will show up?

Will it be the team that rolled through Villanova in mid-February and battled well defensively in the first two games of the Big East Tournament? Or will it be the one that was never in it from jump in a later game against Villanova and in the debacle against the Hoyas last week?

It won’t matter. UC Santa Barbara will be solid in all phases, it won’t buckle after Creighton goes on a 9-0 run, and it’ll be right there at the end.

As good as Creighton is at shooting from the outside, it’s awful on the free throw line. UC Santa Barbara isn’t.

Creighton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction, Line

UC Santa Barbara 74, Creighton 71
Bet on college basketball with BetMGM
Line: Creighton -7, o/u: 138
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5

Must See Rating: 4

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