Purdue to Advance in Evenly-Matched 4-5 Game vs. Iowa State

Jay Pryce

Friday, March 17, 2017 4:05 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 17, 2017 4:05 PM UTC

The Midwest Region sees No. 4 Purdue and No. 5 Iowa State clash in a Big Ten-Big 12 showdown in Milwaukee on Saturday night (9:40 p.m. ET). Lean the Boilermakers in this one. Here's why.

No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 4 Purdue

Midwest Region, Second Round, Milwaukee, Saturday, 9:40 p.m. ET


Iowa State and Purdue each accomplished something Thursday night that has evaded them in recent years: advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Moreover, they did it in style. The Cyclones make their first trip to the Round of 32 in 17 years following a convincing 84-73 win and cover over Nevada as 6-point chalk. The Boilermakers, too, moved to the second round for the first time since 2010. Head coach Matt Painter’s men topped Vermont 80-70 as 8.5-point favorites.

Iowa State (24-10 SU, 20-11 ATS) is on fire. Since Feb. 1, it is 11-2 SU and ATS, scoring 81.8 points per game. Incredibly versatile and athletic, the team is a match-up nightmare for many programs as all in the starting five are capable ball-handlers, playmakers and shooters. Ranking 11th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings, the Cyclones are deadly from deep. In the last 13 games, they are shooting an astonishing 46.9 percent from 3-point range, draining 11.5 per contest.

Purdue (26-7 SU, 18-10-2 ATS) is built like a traditional Big Ten powerhouse, using size and strength in the paint to its advantage. Senior forward Caleb Swanigan (18.4 ppg, 12.6 rpg), the Big Ten Player of the Year, is the go-to guy, assisted by juniors Vincent Edwards (12.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Isaac Haas (12.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg). The frontcourt trio leads the team in scoring and boards. They blasted the Catamounts with a 42-24 point and 39-28 rebounding advantage near the rim on Thursday. Defense is the team’s strength, holding foes to 67.2 points per game on a lowly 41.4 percent from the field.

Although Purdue is closer to Milwaukee geographically, the Cyclones are feeding off some homecourt energy with three players -- Deonte Burton, Darrell Bowie and Donovan Jackson -- each hailing from the city. The extra support will be a bonus, but maybe not enough to overcome Purdue’s size.

Iowa State has to spread the floor to move to the Sweet 16. It struggled to win close games against tall rebounding teams all season. In contests with a single-digit line (+2.5 average), it went 4-6 SU (6-4 ATS) vs. foes pulling down 35 rebounds or more per tilt entering the matchup. Second-chance opportunities were limited with opponents outrebounding the Cyclones 35.8 to 28.8 under these conditions. The Boilermakers’ 55.1 team total rebounding percentage ranks 11th nationally.

This game will come down to the final shot. Purdue’s advantage around the rim will be the difference-maker.

NCAAB Free Pick: Purdue At Pick'emBest Line Offered: BookMaker

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