UCONN VS PURDUE
Bet Jamaica Line UCONN -6.5 O/U 134
Who says you need your coach to win? Not having
Coach Calhoun on the sidelines in the first round didn’t bug
Connecticut as they delivered a soul crushing 103-47 defeat to
Chattanooga. Calhoun returned for the second game, as the Huskies
won nearly as easily over Texas A&M by a score of 92-66. Playing in
the Big East will prove beneficial for UCONN, because they are used
to tackling teams like their current opponent Purdue. The NCAA
Tournament has reaffirmed what we have all known from the beginning;
the Connecticut Huskies are for real.
The Purdue Boilermakers have defied the odds
thus far. They finished second in the Big Ten regular season
standings, but emerged on top in the Big Ten Tournament. They have
won five straight since losing to the Michigan State Spartans.
Purdue was able to defeat Michigan State earlier in the year. That
win was quite emphatic as they took the event by a score 72-54.
Many expected their last win against Washington
to be a tough one for them, but they were in line to blow out the
Huskies by halftime of that game. They allowed them to come back and
nearly blew the game in the second half. If Purdue is able to get a
lead it is important that they keep it. They are playing very well
but will need to move up if they want to send the classy UCONN
I truly feel sorry for any team that has to
play Connecticut. That is because of 7-3 center Hasheem Thabeet. He
has to be a nightmare for any player to try and match up with. The
Dar Es Salaam native is averaging 13.7 PPG and 10.7 RPG. His most
impressive stat is clearly his 4.4 blocks per game. Thabeet will go
a long way to carrying the Huskies to a title run.
While he is dwarfed by his teammate in size,
the 6-7 Jeff Adrien is also an impact player. The senior put up 23
points on Texas A&M and has been good for 13.9 PPG and 10.2 RPG this
season. AJ Price is the leading scorer at 14.6 PPG. His is hitting
at an astounding 41.7% rate from three point land.
The Purdue Boilermakers rely on a plethora of
players. Robbie Hummel is the statistical leader of the team. The
6-8 sophomore forward is averaging 12.4 PPG, and a whopping 7 RPG.
He is going to have a hell of a time competing with Thabeet for
rebounds. Hummel has been quiet so far in the Tournament, but he
will have to play a big game if the Boilermakers are going to stand
E’Twuan Moore leads the Boilermakers in scoring
at 14 PPG, and is also garnering 4.7 RPG and 3.1 APG. JaJuan Johnson
has had the hot hand of late, as he proved with 22 points in
Purdue’s second round win over the Washington Huskies. Both players
will have to deliver near career highs for Purdue to win.
Connecticut is a healthy favorite at -6.5.
Purdue is going to have a hell of a time competing with the Huskies
for rebounds. I expect to see a blowout here, and the Connecticut
Huskies should win this one by at least 15 points.