Tennessee vs Purdue Preview & Free Pick [Elite Eight]

Tennessee (27-8) vs Purdue (32-4)
When: Sunday, March 31st, 2024
Where: Little Caesars Arena,
Detroit, MI

Time: 2:20 ET | TV: CBS
Opening Odds: Purdue -3/148

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For the second time this season, the Tennessee Volunteers and Purdue Boilermakers will matchup on the court, but this time, a ton is at stake. A trip to the Final Four is on the line as No. 1 seed Purdue tangles with No. 3 Tennessee from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The Boilermakers are a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 147.5.

Tennessee is look for its first ever trip to the Final Four and will have beat a red-hot Purdue team that beat them back in November 71-67. The Vols had an 11-point lead in the first half but foul trouble led to Purdue taking 48 free throw attempts in a game that was part of the Maui Invitational in Honolulu. The Vols are playing much better now, dispatching Creighton 82-75 in Friday’s Sweet 16 contest.

Purdue has been very impressive this NCAA Tournament after an 80-68 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday. They have now won by an average of 26.3 points this tournament while going undefeated straight up and against the spread in their first three games. Purdue’s offense has scored at least 40 points in five of the six halves played so far and has averaged an impressive 81.9 points per game during the team’s current 9-1 SU run.


Dalton Knecht led the Vols’ offensive attack on Friday night with 24 points and six rebounds in the win over Creighton. Knecht has now averaged 21.7 points and 7.7 boards per game in the tournament. After going just 2-for-12 from the floor in Tennessee’s Second Round win over Texas, junior Zakai Ziegler bounced back on Saturday with 18 points including three makes from beyond the arc and has contributed 7.7 assists per game during March Madness. The Vols shot just 41.8 percent against Creighton and will need to knock down more if it wants to advance to the Final Four.


There’s no question who the leader of the Boilermakers is. Giant man Zach Edey was at it again in Friday’s win over Gonzaga with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Edey is now +350 to be the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Edey is averaging 27 points and 14.3 rebounds with recording six straight double-doubles. He had 23 points and 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes in the win over Tennessee back in November. Purdue had three other double-digits scorers against Gonzaga in shooting 57.1 percent from the field.


After little success in previous March Madnesses, this Purdue team has figured it out. Edey is almost impossible to stop right now and the rest of the team has benefited. Tennessee has too many offensive droughts and are in trouble if they have one in this game. Purdue handled the Vols back in November and Edey only played 26 minutes. I think this is Purdue’s year and I’ll back them in this one.

Pick: Purdue -3.5