Second-seeded and 14th-ranked Creighton beat Xavier 86-78 Friday night and will face fourth-seeded Providence in the Big East finals. The Bluejays (26-6) will meet the Friars (22-11) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, where the tournament has been played since 1983.
Doug McDermott scored 32 points in the win. It was another night of milestones for McDermott, the nation’s leading scorer (26.5 per game), who is trying to become the 11th three-time All-America. He has 3,078 points and moved into fifth place passing Harry ”Machine Gun” Kelly of Texas Southern (3,066) and Keydren Clark of Saint Peter’s (3,058). Next up is Alfonso Ford of Mississippi Valley State (3,165).
McDermott was 10 for 20 from the field, including 2 of 6 from 3-point range, and was 10 for 10 from the free throw line. The Bluejays were 21 of 24 from the free throw line while the Musketeers were 8 of 12.
Creighton and Providence split two meetings this season, with the home team winning each game by double-figures. Providence handed CU its first BIG EAST loss on Jan. 18th with an 81-68 home win before CU returned the favor last Saturday with an 88-73 victory in Omaha.
Doug McDermott averaged 33.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in two games against the Friars, including a career-high 45 points last weekend. He is the only Bluejay to score more than 7.5 points per game vs. PC this year.