Creighton Bluejays at Villanova Wildcats (-6, OFF)
There is no secret Doug McDermott is the focal point of Creighton’s offense, but the Bluejays learned Saturday there are times they need more than the nation’s second-leading scorer. The No. 20-ranked Bluejays travel to sixth-ranked Villanova on Monday after suffering their first Big East loss in an 81-68 defeat at Providence, a game in which McDermott scored 21 points but received little support thanks to foul trouble. The Wildcats are unbeaten in conference play and have won five in a row, routing DePaul 88-62 on Saturday.
It will be hard for Villanova – which suffered its only loss to second-ranked Syracuse on Dec. 28 – to play better than it did in the second half Saturday, when the Wildcats shot 73 percent. The Wildcats got a big boost from sophomore Daniel Ochefu, who scored a career-high 14 points while pulling down six rebounds. Creighton trailed by as many as 20 points in seeing its 10-game winning streak end with its first loss since Dec. 1.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
LINE: Villanova opened as 6-point faves. The total is currently off the board.
ABOUT CREIGHTON (15-3, 11-5 ATS): McDermott is one of the top scorers in the nation, and the two-time All-American already has won conference player of the week five times. Jahenns Manigat leads the Big East and is fifth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio, and Ethan Wragge is hitting 48.5 percent of his 3-point attempts. Creighton leads the nation in 3-point shooting and is second in assists, but have allowed 81 or more points twice in its past three games.
ABOUT VILLANOVA (16-1, 12-3 ATS): Balance has fueled the Wildcats’ rise to Final Four contender, with five players averaging 9.7 points and a defense that leads the conference in field-goal percentage and steals. Ryan Arcidiacono is averaging 13.7 points in his past three games, shooting 14-for-27 from the field. Freshman Josh Hart has won three of the past four conference rookie of the week honors and is shooting 58.3 percent from the field.
* Creighton is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games.
* Villanova is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS win.
* Over is 4-1 in Creighton's last five games overall.
* Over is 6-0 in Villanova's last six games versus the Big East.
1. The game will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where the Wildcats went 3-0 last season.
2. Villanova head coach Jay Wright on scouting the Bluejays: “They’re one of those team that when you watch film you get caught up enjoying watching them play as opposed to how you are going to beat them.”
3. Monday marks the first meeting between the two programs since 1952; Villanova leads the all-time series 3-0.
Baylor Bears at Kansas Jayhawks (-10.5, OFF)
Kansas will try to maintain its grip on first place in the Big 12 when the No. 18 Jayhawks host No. 13 Baylor on Monday night. Kansas stayed unbeaten in conference play with an 80-78 victory Saturday against No. 8 Oklahoma State, five days after the Jayhawks knocked off No. 10 Iowa State. Baylor has lost two straight and three of four in Big 12 action, and the Bears have never won in 10 tries in Lawrence, Kan.
Baylor does own bragging rights after handing the Jayhawks their worst loss in seven years in their most recent meeting, an 81-58 victory by the host Bears last March. Cory Jefferson scored 25 points in that game and he’s leading Baylor is scoring and rebounding this season. Kansas is led by a pair of freshmen who will be making their first appearances against Baylor, leading scorer Andrew Wiggins and 7-footer Joel Embiid.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE: Kansas opened as 10.5-point faves. The total is currently off the board.
ABOUT BAYLOR (13-4, 4-7 ATS): Wiggins, who hails from Canada, could find himself matched against fellow countrymen Kenny Chery and Brady Heslip of the Bears. Chery is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 points and is averaging 19 points in the last two games after being held to single digits in the previous four. Chery has done a better job of getting to the free throw line lately, combining for 12 free throws in the last two games after taking a total of four in the previous five games.
ABOUT KANSAS (13-4, 8-9 ATS): Perry Ellis will be looking to shake off a mini-shooting slump that began when he shot 4-for-13 against Iowa State, his worst shooting performance of the season, and followed that up by shooting 3-for-8 against Oklahoma State. To make matters worse, Ellis missed all five free throw attempts in the last two games after entering the week shooting 73.8 percent from the stripe this season. Ellis will likely have the added responsibility of trying to contain Jefferson.
* Baylor is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Kansas.
* Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Kansas.
* Underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Road team is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings.
1. Baylor reserve F Rico Gathers is averaging 7.7 rebounds in 18.9 minutes.
2. Kansas G Naadir Tharpe has posted his three career 20-point performances in the last six games.
3. The Jayhawks have posted 205 consecutive sellouts dating back to the 2001-02 season.