NCAA Tournament: Tennessee vs. Purdue fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, March 28
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY
All You Really Need To Know About Purdue (25-9)
(Big Ten), NCAA NET Rank: 12. South 3-seed
Raise your hand if you saw 42 points from Carsen Edwards going from great to unstoppable against Villanova?
Purdue dominated the Wildcats early with a 43-24 halftime lead, and kept the foot on the gas the rest of the way in a breathtaking 87-61 performance. And now that’s 2-for-2, ruining Old Dominion from the start and rolling the rest of the way in the first round.
The defense held the normally amazing Villanova bombers to just 29% from three, while Edwards and company connected on a ridiculous 16-of-30. The Boilermakers aren’t afraid to crank it up from beyond the arc, and with 7-3 Matt Haarms on the inside, there’s toughness on the boards, too.
Now, the defense has to keep up the pressure. Normally awful at stopping teams that can hit from the outside, Purdue has gotten the job done so far. The O has to keep on firing, continue being fearless and sharp, and Edwards has to keep being Edwards.
All You Really Need To Know About Tennessee (31-5)
(SEC), NCAA NET Rank: 6. Midwest 2-seed
Oh great. Another tough Big Ten team to deal with.
Tennessee is better than Purdue, but it’s a whole lot better than Iowa, too, and it almost suffered an all-timer of a collapse in the 83-77 overtime win. On the plus side, for all the problems in a second half with the Vols being outscored 43-22, the team had the mental toughness to come through late and in overtime to survive.
It was the second game in a row the Vols took their foot off the gas. They rolled early against Colgate, and then they had to try. And then there was this.
The rebounding is great, the offense moves the ball around as well as anyone in the country, and the O is great from the field. Now they have to do it for a full 40 minutes.
What’s Going To Happen
Tennessee should greatly benefit from the few days off. It’s a far better team than Purdue, just like it was a far better team than Iowa and Colgate. The firepower is there to get up and down the court better than the Boilermakers, and the defensive pressure should be just enough to keep Edwards from going off.
The Vols managed to get out of the first weekend alive. Now it’s time for them to show what they’re Final Four-worthy – even if Purdue is in it from the start. It won’t be a wipeout, but the Vols will have control of the game throughout.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Tennessee 82, Purdue 75
Line: Tennessee -1, o/u: 146
ATS Confidence: 4.5
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle