While their Big Ten Tournament hopes may have ended abruptly, the Purdue Boilermakers are still heading into the team with a No. 3 seed in the South. Facing them in the first round will be No. 14 seeded Old Dominion.
Purdue is making a 30th appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year after a 23-8 regular season that included a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Unfortunately, they had no answer for the Minnesota Gophers, losing to them on the road to deprive them of the top seed, and losing to them again in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals. But coming off back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances, the Boilermakers will surely have higher expectations for the tournament this time around.
Old Dominion finished with a 26-8 record that included a 13-5 mark in Conference USA. The Monarchs were inconsistent in non-conference play, but did score a nice win over Syracuse in December. Last week, they put together consecutive wins over Louisiana Tech, UAB and Western Kentucky to win the league’s tournament title. They will go as senior guard B.J. Stith’s goes.
Date: Thursday, March 21
Time: 9:50 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TBS
Location: XL Center, Hartford, CT
Announcers: Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen
Prediction: As heartbreaking as their opening round loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament was, the Boilermakers still boast a first-class squad that can put anyone through the ringer.
Old Dominion's defense may have been stout, but Purdue is a very different animal.
Purdue wins a close one.