Defensive battle expected between No. 9 Creighton and No. 8 San Diego State

Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott
Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott(Grace Boyles)
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Bluejays’ first round match-up with the Aztecs will feature two conference Defensive Players of the Year.

SDSU forward Nathan Mensah earned the Mountain West’s 2021-2022 DPOY honor after leading the conference in blocks with 33 and averaging 6.2 rebounds per game, while the BIG EAST named Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner its 2021-2022 DPOY having led the league with 80 blocked shots and averaging 8 rebounds per game throughout conference play.

At a press conference Wednesday in Fort Worth, TX Aztecs head coach Brian Dutcher said, “The defensive player of the year is the key to both teams. You know, you can make mistakes on the perimeter, but anything around the rim is protected, hard to score at the basket. So that’s going to be a great challenge for both teams.”

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said, ”It’s going to be a physical game and so [for] some people it might not be pleasing to the eye. To me it’s beautiful because it’s two teams that really understand who they are defensively and I think both teams do a pretty good job of trying to take away what the other team wants to do. So who’s going to be able to get to that second and third option and be successful with that I think is probably-- in the long run-- going to determine who wins the game.”

Creighton and SDSU tip-off at 6:27pm CT Thursday, March 17th at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. The game will be televised on truTV.

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