Oregon Hosts Creighton in Game #2 of the CBI Finals

College Basketball Invitational Championship Series, Game #2
Creighton Blue Jays at Oregon Ducks, (Creighton leads series 1-0)
Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Oregon
Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 10:00 pm Eastern, TV: HDNet
Opening Line: Oregon -4
Current Line: Oregon -5
Opening Total: 146 1/2
Current Total: 146
Money Line: Oregon -220 / Creighton +180

Big South Tournament
Oregon hosts Creighton in game 2 of The CBI Finals. Oregon is a 5 point favorite as they try to force a deciding third game in the series.

Creighton beat Oregon 84-76 Monday night in Omaha to take a 1-0 lead in the best of 3 CBI Championship series. Four Bluejays scored in double figures led by forward Doug McDermott with 21 points in the win. Now the series shifts to Eugene for game 2 and game 3 if necessary. Oregon is 19-18 overall and finished 7th in the Pac 10 with a 7-11 record. Oregon won three straight home games to get to the finals. They beat Weber St 68-59 in the first round, Duquesne 77-75 in the quarters, and Boise St 79-71 in the semis. Creighton is 23-14 and finished 4th in the Missouri Valley Conference with with a 10-8 record. Creighton has also won 3 straight home games to get here. The Bluejays beat San Jose St 85-74 in the first round, Davidson 102-92 in the quarters, and  Central Florida 82-64 in the semifinals.

Before Monday, the two teams had only played once before in 1974. Oregon won that game. Oregon is coached by former Creighton Coach Dana Altman, who coached the Bluejays for 17 years before taking over the Ducks this season. He has the most wins as a coach in Creighton’s history with 327. Creighton is 16-7 ATS versus teams with winning records this season. Oregon is 39-55 ATS in all games the last 3 seasons, including 24-42 ATS versus teams with winning records in the same span.

Creighton reserve forwards Ethan Ragge and Casey Harriman  are both out for the season with injuries. Though neither played a lot of minutes , the losses hurt Creighton’s depth. The Blue Jays are led by Forward Doug McDermott. McDermott averages 15.2 points to lead the team, 7.5 rebounds to also lead the team, and 1.2 assists a game. Guard Antoine Young averages 13.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 0.9 steals a game. He leads the team in assists and steals. Center Gregory Echenique averages 10.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and leads the team in blocks with 1.8 a game. Forward Kenny Lawson, Jr. averages 9.2 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. Creighton is outscoring opponents 69-65 on the season. The Blue Jays are shooting 46% from the field and 36.9% from 3-point range. Creighton opponents are shooting 43% from the field. The Blue Jays shoot 73% from the free throw line. Creighton averages 34.8 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +3.8. They average 14.6 assists and 11.8 turnovers a game. Creighton forces 9.6 turnovers  a game on defense. The Blue Jays average 4.3 steals and 3.1 blocks a game.

Oregon Forward Jeremy Jacob is out for the season with a knee injury. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds.  Oregon Forward Joevan Catron is averaging 15.5 points to lead the team, 6.7 rebounds a game to also lead the team. He also averages 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals a game. Sophomore forward E.J. Singler averages 11.7 points, 5. rebounds, and he also averages 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals a game. Guard Jay-R Strowbridge averages 9.5 points and 2.4 rebounds.  Point guard Malcolm Armstead leads the team in assists with  4.4 a game and steals with 2.3 a game and scores 8.6 points a game. The Ducks are outscoring opponents 70-69 on the season. The Ducks are shooting 42.1% from the field and 34.3%  from 3-point range. Duck opponents are shooting 44.6% from the field. Oregon makes 74.1% of their free throws. They average 32.9 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of -1.8. They average 14 assists and 12.4 turnovers a game. The Ducks force 15.3 turnovers a game on defense. They average 8.2 steals and 2.7 blocks a game.

Oregon just opened up a new arena in December. The new court has an intricate tree design that covers about 75% of the floor. Former Houston coach Tom Penders said it looks like someone spilled 5 tons of coffee on the court and didn’t clean it up. The effect can be very disconcerting if you have never seen it before. Though Oregon is not a very good team, they are playing good basketball right now. I think Oregon wins a close game to even the series and force a game three Friday night.

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