UCONN VS PURDUE
Bet 5dimes.com 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 didnt 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 Score72-54.
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 Huskies home.
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 a chance.
ETwuan 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 Purdues 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.
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