Preview: DePaul men’s basketball vs. Creighton, Feb. 7

DePaul will take on No. 12 Creighton in Omaha tonight at 8 p.m. CTE. The Blue Demons (10-13, 2-8 Big East) will look to avenge an 81-62 home setback against the Bluejays (18-3, 8-1) Jan 7. It will be a tall task as Creighton is in the midst of arguably the school’s finest season and is never down for the count long with All-American senior Doug McDermott on the floor.

What to watch for: How will the Blue Demons defend McDermott? The six-foot-eight-inch forward isn’t just one of the best scorers in the nation at 25.0 points per game, he’s one of the most prolific scorers in the history of college basketball. DePaul held him to 19 points on just 6-16 shooting in the first matchup. With Cleveland Melvin out once again, it will be a tough task matching McDermott’s size.

X-Factor: R.J. Curington. Since the onslaught of injuries and suspensions, Curington has averaged 27.3 minutes per game for DePaul in consecutive games against Seton Hall, Providence, and Georgetown. In those three contests, he shot just under 46 percent and scored in double figures all three times with a per-game average of 15.7 points. If Curington can keep filling up the basket, the Blue Demons might have a chance.

Prediction: Creighton is almost unstoppable offensively and while DePaul has shown defensive improvement, the Blue Demons won’t be able to stop the Jays for 40 minutes. Either way, there’s not enough scoring on DePaul’s end to keep up even if the Demons defend well. Expect it to be close early, but Creighton will pull away and win by at least 15.