TALE OF THE TAPE

Round Of 32 Matchup: #6 Baylor Vs. #3 Creighton

#6 Baylor
#3 Creighton
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Coaching
Bears coach Scott Drew has had some ups and downs with Baylor over the years, but recently, there have been more ups than downs. In 2010, he led a 28-8 team to the Elite Eight and followed that up two years later in 2012 with another Elite Eight run. Last year, the Bears missed the Big Dance, but they ended up winning the NIT. Drew won’t hold anything back this time.
Winner Creighton head coach Greg McDermott has a unique situation that many fathers across the country could only dream of: Not only is his son, Doug McDermott, the star player on his team, but he’s the top scoring player in the country. Certainly a sense of dedication to his boy gives the elder McDermott all the more reason to go deep in the tourney, but the same can unmistakably be said for Doug and looking to not only please his father, but up his stock as a future NBA player.
Offense
Baylor has a balanced offense, spread out between two seniors in guard Brady Heslip (11.8 ppg) and forward Cory Jefferson (13.5ppg, 8.4 rpg) and through the emergence of point guard Kenny Chery (11.6 ppg, 5.0 apg). As a whole, the Bears average 75.2 ppg (66th) on 45.6 percent shooting, which is pretty impressive. Hitting shots from back deep is their specialty, shooting 39 percent from long range, which was 28th in the nation during the regular season. But they’re awful at making free throws, hitting only 67.2 percent. Center Isaiah Austin also impressed with 13 points and seven rebounds in the win over Nebraska.
Winner When you have what could be the best player in college basketball on your team in Doug McDermott, who leads the nation in scoring with 26.9 points per game, there’s little else a team could wish for. The senior scored at least 22 points in 13 games this season and has topped 30 twelve times. McDermott also enters the tournament with 3,105 career points, and draws ever closer to the No. 4 spot (held by Alphonso Ford) for all-time NCAA scoring. Creighton’s offense has eight wins against the RPI Top 50 throughout this season, including a blowout of Big East regular season champs, Villanova. McDermott also draws a lot of defenders, allowing for his teammates to make open shots, and the leading scorer also did a great job of creating scoring opportunities for his fellow Bluejays against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Defense
Winner The Bears are more solid than they appear on defense, allowing just 64.9 points per game on 42 percent shooting in the regular season. Baylor looked dominant on the opposite end of the court, holding Nebraska to just 16 points in the first half in their first-round match up. This is one defense that has been underrated heading into the tournament, though Creighton will give that defense a run for its money.
So much has been said about McDermott and Creighton’s offense, that little attention has been paid to the Bluejays defense. Allowing 67.4 points per game in the regular season, they don’t quite match up to Baylor, but they may not need to if Doug McDermott keeps the Baylor defense working overtime. Flat-out, defense versus defense, Baylor takes the edge here, especially after the Bears shut down Nebraska like they did and floundered against a less-than-tough Louisiana-Lafayette.
Bench Depth
Baylor’s bench isn’t that impressive, but it certainly wasn’t tested by the likes of Nebraska in the first round. Creighton will more than likely cause Baylor to have to test some of their bench players, who have seen similar tests against tough foes this season. One bright spot was Rico Gathers netting 11 points against Nebraska. Baylor will need a top effort from Gathers off the bench this time, too.
Winner Everything seems like background noise when it comes to Creighton behind the massive presence of Doug McDermott, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a power-packed lineup on the bench. Creighton is deep; deeper than most may think, and if needed, they can pull out any number of weapons. But if McDermott is feeling it, there won’t be any reason to let the bench get cold. If needed, the Bluejays can count on center J.J. Davenport and guard Kevin Brown for a few.

The Winner Is

(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Winner #3 Creighton
3 out of 4

The power of the nation’s leading scorer in Doug McDermott is just too strong. If McDermott is healthy, stays out of foul trouble (which he had no problem doing against Louisiana-Lafayette), and gets that nod from his father and head coach that all young men seek, Creighton should find an easy win and move on in the tournament.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

    The Colts are still alive for the playoffs while the Jets are just playing out the string.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passes against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

    The Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and look to keep pace with the Falcons as they match-up with a tough Chargers team.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

BUY TICKETS NOW
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live