How To Watch
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Tip Time: 7:09 p.m. ET
Television/Streaming: CBS/March Madness Live
DraftKings Line: Purdue -13, O/U 133.5
After taking down Kentucky in the Round of 64 and Murray State in the Round of 32, Saint Peter’s has shocked almost everyone by advancing to the NCAA men’s basketball Sweet Sixteen where the Peacocks will take on Purdue.
Built on great defense, the Peacocks are ranked 28th in the nation for adjusted defensive efficiency behind three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year KC Ndefo, who led the conference in blocks while sitting top-10 for both steals and defensive rebounds per game.
While coach Shaheen Holloway has a defensively disciplined squad, Purdue’s height with players like 7-foot-4-inch Zach Edey and 6-foot-10-inch Trevion Williams could prove a huge issue for an undersized Peacocks team. SPU will also need to slow down Boilermaker leading scorer Jaden Ivey.
With this, expect Holloway to continue leaning on his guards such as Daryl Banks III. He is the Peacocks’ leading scorer and managed 27 points against Kentucky. Meanwhile, sharpshooter Doug Edert, who’s shot 43% from three this season, scored a total of 33 points between Saint Peter’s previous two tournament wins.
But to really put up a fight against Purdue and continue this historic tournament run, the Peacocks will need contributions all over the floor, not just from the team’s stars.
Clarence Rupert and the Drame Brothers (Fousseyni and Hassan) will need to be ever-present on the boards and remain pesky on defense. Matthew Lee was solid for the Peacocks during their MAAC Tournament, and Jaylen Murray burst onto the scene with eight points and three rebounds against Kentucky.
I picked against Saint Peter’s when they played Kentucky in what was clearly a massive mistake. While tempted to ride the Peacock train, I am going to side with Purdue in this Sweet 16 battle. Purdue’s height alone will be extremely difficult for Saint Peter’s. Add one of the nation’s best players in Ivey to that, and you get a tough matchup for any team.
No doubt we at Mid-Major Madness will all be supporting the Peacocks, but the road ahead looks bleak against the Boilermakers. That all being said, Saint Peter’s has produced some major upsets along the way in this Tournament. Hopefully, Holloway’s squad has something left in the tank and can continue to shock the world with a victory tonight.