From the opening tip it was clear that the Bears brought a level of size, athleticism and defensive activity that the Creighton Bluejays were going to struggle to match up with. Add on the fact that the Bears were unconscious shooting the three, making 11 of 18 from beyond the arc, and this game was never even close. The Bears throttled the Bluejays, holding Doug McDermott to just 15 points on 14 attempts, as they made one of the biggest statements in the tournament with their 85-55 victory. The Bluejays came in with one of the top-ranked offensive attacks in the country, but the Bears made life miserable for them on the offensive end by crowding McDermott every step he took. Typically his supporting cast hurts the opposition from three when they do that defensively, because it certainly wasn’t the first time a team has tried that against them, but the long ball just wasn’t falling on Sunday. Even taking away McDermott being 0-3, the Bluejays still were a miserable 5-21 from distance. The Bears may not shoot it as well as they did on Sunday the rest of the tournament, but as long as they continue to defend at the same level and dominate on the glass, they’ll be a difficult out. They’re taking on Wisconsin, who hangs their hat on the same things, in the Sweet 16. Whichever team can figure out how to properly attack the other’s stout defense first will win. [poll id=”52″]
Through 20 minutes of play the scene was all too familiar in Wisconsin’s Round of 32 contest against Oregon. The Badgers were going up against an explosive offensive team that was having one of those nights where they just couldn’t miss. Meanwhile, the Badgers struggled to keep pace, going into halftime down 12 after giving up 49 first half points. In the second half, though, we found out why this is not your average Wisconsin team. They went off for 48 points in the final 20 minutes, every starter scored in double figures and the Badgers ran past the high powered Ducks 85-77. That sets the stage for one of the most difficult Sweet 16 games to predict. Both of these teams are quite physical and imposing on the defensive end, but they’re quite capable on the offense end as well. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the officials call this game and how well both teams adjust. It sure would be a shame to let these two defensive juggernauts face off in a tightly-called affair. They should be allowed to play physically like they’re taught to. The Badgers hit 11 threes like the Bears did in their Round of 32 win, albeit on 10 more attempts. What’s more important than being on from three for the Badgers is having everyone on the floor be a factor offensively. All eight players who played against Oregon scored, they’ll need similar balance to move onto the Elite Eight.
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