Villanova (26-9) vs Purdue (24-9)
When: Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
Where: XL Center,
Time: 8:40 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Purdue -3.5/137
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The Villanova Wildcats have had quite a run in the NCAA Tournament the last few trips, going 14-1 in their last 15 tries including a National Championship to end the 2017-18 campaign, but they’ll be underdogs on Saturday. The Wildcats path to the Sweet 16 has to go through the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers in Hartford, Conn. – right after Murray State plays Florida State. Villanova needed a strong defensive effort to hold off pesky Saint Mary’s on Thursday, holding the Gaels to 41.8 percent shooting in the 61-57 win. Purdue played even better defense in its 61-48 victory over Old Dominion, limiting the Monarchs to 26.9 percent from the floor, but the offense needs to pick it up. The Boilermakers, who were co-Big Ten regular season champs, are seeking their third straight trip to the Sweet 16. The winner will take on No. 2 Tennessee or No. 10 Iowa next week.
Seniors, and All-Big East first team selections Phil Booth and Eric Pachall, scored a combined 30 points in the win over Saint Mary’s as head coach Jay Wright used only six players – seven if you count Joe Cremo’s three minutes. Booth (18.7 points), a senior, has scored in double-digits in every game this season except two and has made a 3-pointer in every game but one. Villanova did not rebound the ball well versus Saint Mary’s and in fact, are ranked 201st in the country at 35.1 boards per game.
Carsen Edwards (26 points) was just one of two Boilermakers in double-digits Thursday, but he and the rest of the team really struggled with finding the basket. Edwards was 7-of-23 and has made just 11-of-45 from beyond the arc of the last four games. Fellow guard Ryan Cline (11.7 points) was 1-of-11 from 3-point range against Old Dominion and has scored eight points or fewer in four of the last six games. Purdue shoots 44.5 percent from the floor for the season, but connected on just 37.7 percent on Thursday.
This could be an ugly game. Villanova is not the same team we’ve seen run through March and this could be the end for Booth and Pachall. Purdue has the edge here because of rebounding and that will be the difference. I’m going to lay the points with the better conference.
Pick: Purdue -3.5
Wildcats are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 vs. Big Ten.
Wildcats are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 NCAA Tournament games.
Wildcats are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Saturday games.
Wildcats are 36-16 ATS in their last 52 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Wildcats are 44-20 ATS in their last 64 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Wildcats are 39-18 ATS in their last 57 games following a straight up win.
Wildcats are 37-18 ATS in their last 55 neutral site games.
Boilermakers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games.
Boilermakers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
Boilermakers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
Boilermakers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Boilermakers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs. Big East.
Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
Over is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 overall.
Under is 12-3-1 in Wildcats last 16 non-conference games.
Under is 15-5-2 in Wildcats last 22 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 5-2-1 in Wildcats last 8 Saturday games.
Under is 7-3 in Wildcats last 10 neutral site games.
Over is 4-1 in Boilermakers last 5 Saturday games.
Over is 4-1 in Boilermakers last 5 games following a straight up win.
Over is 7-2 in Boilermakers last 9 NCAA Tournament games.
Over is 15-5-1 in Boilermakers last 21 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
Over is 6-2 in Boilermakers last 8 vs. Big East.
Over is 38-17-1 in Boilermakers last 56 neutral site games.