The No. 2 seed Purdue Boilermakers (29-7) take on the No. 10 seed Butler Bulldogs (21-13) in the Second Round of the East Region. The game will be played at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sunday, March 18. Tip-off time is TBA.
Preview: While some other high seeds in this NCAA Tournament have struggled a bit, Purdue handled its business against Cal State Fullerton. The Titans hung with the Boilermakers for a while, trailing 30-21 at the half, but Purdue ran away with it in the second half to win 74-48.
Carson Edwards and Vincent Edwards led the way offensively for Purdue, scoring 15 points a piece. Guard P.J. Thompson chipped in 11 points, knocking down 3-of-5 shots on the day, all from three-point range.
Big center Isaac Haas was held to nine points on 3-of-7 from the field. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Purdue won the rebounding battle as a team 44-34, and forced 17 Titans turnovers.
Unfortunately for Purdue, it will be without Haas for the rest of the Tournament. After the game, it was announced that he has a fractured elbow.
Butler had little issue with No. 7 seed Arkansas in its first round game. The Bulldogs won 79-62, behind 27 points from star forward Kelan Martin, and 24 from Kamar Baldwin. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Razorbacks 45-25 in the win.
— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) March 16, 2018
The winner between Purdue and Butler will face the winner of No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 6 Florida in the Sweet 16. The East Regional will be played at the TD Garden in Boston.
Date: March 18
TV Channel: TBA
Location: Detroit, MI
Opening Betting Line: TBA
Prediction: This will be the second match-up between these two Indiana programs this season. The two met up in the Crossroads Classic early in the season.
Purdue came out on top in the first meeting, knocking off the Bulldogs 82-67. Carsen Edwards was the leading scorer for the Boilermakers, chipping in 18 in the win.
Haas had 15 points in 16 minutes in that game. His back-up, Matt Haarms, actually played 27 minutes to just 16 for Haas, who got into foul trouble, but only scored two points though he did have five rebounds and three blocks.
As a two-seed, Purdue had huge expectations entering this tournament. Without Haas, the road has definitely gotten harder, though the Boilermakers are much more than just their 7-foot-2 big man. I’ll take Purdue for the win, though expect a very tight game on Sunday.