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NCAA Tournament Day 3 Preview: Creighton, Iowa meet in battle of high-flying offenses

Offense is on the agenda as the 2022 NCAA Tournament enters its second round.

Syndication: HawkCentral
Iowa’s Caitlin Clark was electric in the Hawkeyes’ first-round victory, recording 27 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists.
Meg McLaughlin/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2022 NCAA Tournament moves on to its second round today, March 20, with eight games televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks.

The first game of the day, a Greensboro Region matchup between the No. 10 Creighton Bluejays and the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes, may also be its most exciting — if you like offensive-minded basketball, that is. Both Creighton and Iowa rolled to opening-round victories on Friday, combining to score 182 points, and their upcoming meeting holds promise for quite a few more offensive fireworks.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 18 Div I Women’s Championship - First Round - Creighton at Colorado
Morgan Maly led Creighton with 20 points and 8 rebounds in the Bluejays’ opening-round upset of Colorado.

According to Her Hoop Stats, the Hawkeyes lead all of Division I in points scored per 100 possessions (111.8) while the Bluejays rank fifth (108.8). Creighton attempts 41.4 percent of its shots from 3-point range, knocking down 37 percent of them — as good a recipe as any for efficient offense — while Iowa is second to none in both 2-point shooting (58.7 percent) and free throw shooting (84.5 percent).

Factor in Creighton’s ball security (1.61 assist/turnover ratio) and Iowa’s star power (Caitlin Clark led the country in both scoring and assists during the regular season) and it’s easy to see why DraftKings has the game’s total lined at 158.5 points, which is the highest of the day. Expect plenty of scoring starting at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.

Stick around later in the afternoon for what should be another barnburner when the Spokane Region’s No. 4 Maryland Terrapins host the No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. Maryland enjoyed its homecourt advantage on Friday, defeating the No. 13 Delaware Blue Hens with 102-71 with a terrific all-around effort, and seems primed for a deep NCAA Tournament run with its talented starting lineup firing on all cylinders.

Syndication: The Daily Times
Karli Seay knocked down four of FGCU’s 15 3-pointers in the Eagles’ upset of Virginia Tech.
Lauren Roberts/Salisbury Daily Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Don’t look past the Eagles, though. FGCU far outplayed its seeding in the first round, taking down the No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies with its usual barrage of 3-pointers. No one attempts more threes than FGCU — the Eagles took 49 percent of their field goals from long distance this season — which regularly makes the ASUN powerhouse one of the country’s highest-scoring teams.

Can FGCU hit enough long balls to withstand Maryland’s relentless pace of play and pull off another upset? Regardless of the result, it should be another entertaining and high-scoring game; the DraftKings total is lined at 152. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

We’ve got you covered for the rest of the day, too! Here’s the full Sunday schedule, including the day’s matchups, how to watch the games, and the spread of each game, courtesy of DraftKings:

No. 10 Creighton Bluejays vs. No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes (Greensboro Region)

When: 1 p.m. ET

Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA

How to watch: ABC

DraftKings spread: Iowa -10

No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. No. 4 Maryland Terrapins (Spokane Region)

When: 3 p.m. ET

Where: XFINITY Center, College Park, MD

How to watch: ESPN

DraftKings spread: Maryland -10

No. 8 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks (Greensboro Region)

When: 3 p.m. ET

Where: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC

How to watch: ABC

DraftKings spread: South Carolina -23.5

No. 7 Utah Utes vs. No. 2 Texas Longhorns (Spokane Region)

When: 5 p.m. ET

Where: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX

How to watch: ESPN

DraftKings spread: Texas -10.5

No. 10 South Dakota Coyotes vs. No 2 Baylor Bears (Wichita Region)

When: 6 p.m. ET

Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX

How to watch: ESPN2

DraftKings spread: Baylor -12

No. 9 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 1 Louisville Cardinals (Wichita Region)

When: 7 p.m. ET

Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY

How to watch: ESPN

DraftKings spread: Louisville -10.5

No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 3 Iowa State Cyclones (Greensboro Region)

When: 8 p.m. ET

Where: James H. Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA

How to watch: ESPN2

DraftKings spread: Iowa State -6

No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (Spokane Region)

When: 9 p.m. ET

Where: Maples Pavilion, Stanford, CA

How to watch: ESPN

DraftKings spread: Stanford -21

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.