Can Purdue Shake Off Mediocre Shooting Against Old Dominion?
The Old Dominion Monarchs and the Purdue Boilermakers meet on Thursday at XL Center. They will be playing in the first round of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, which is nothing but March Madness.
Carsen Edwards is stuck in a prolonged shooting slump for the Boilermakers. He’ll likely make or break the NCAA Tournament for third-seeded Purdue. We will find out tonight against No. 14 seed Old Dominion in the first round of the South Region at Hartford, Conn. Edwards is the leading scorer in the Big Ten. He Has struggled since the first of February but will look to turn it on against the Monarchs. He is the No. 9 scorer in Purdue history,
Also figure in that Edwards is dealing with a back injury. The Boilermakers could be ripe for the picking after getting bounced in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament by Minnesota. Edwards is the nation’s 12th-leading scorer at 23 points per game. He has shot 32.9% from the field and 22.5% from 3-point land over the last 11 games. Purdue still managed to win eight of those games. Senior guards B.J. Stith and Ahmad Caver have led the Monarchs, of Norfolk, Va., to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011. They captured the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Old Dominion went 26-8 during the regular season and look to be back where the program was around a decade ago. The Monarchs defeated Western Kentucky in the C-USA Tournament final to earn the automatic bid. They win with defense, and are led by their two All-C-USA first-team players Stith and Caver. The team ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, giving up only 60.9 per game. They also are 10th in field goal percentage defense at 39.1%, and have held its last 10 opponents to fewer than 65 points. Stith, the son of Bryant Stith who is the all-time leading scorer in Virginia history, leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game. He also lead in rebounding at 7.4 rpg. Caver is tops in assists at 5.6 apg for a team that averages 66.2 points per contest. The Monarchs are led by Jeff Jones, the former Virginia coach. He has 497 career wins. They are 3-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and have never made it past the second round.
Purdue was 23-9 during the regular season. The Boilermakers do not have anybody that can match Edwards’ scoring on a nightly basis. Ryan Cline and Matt Haarms have can occasionally. Cline had a combined 33 points and 10 assists and made 10 3-pointers in a pair of late-season matchups with Minnesota. Purdue lost both games. Haarms, a 7-3 center, has scored in double figures in six of the last eight games and has averaged 2.9 blocks in the last 11 contests. The Boilermakers will be making their fifth straight appearance in the tournament and have reached the Sweet 16 in each of the last two seasons.
Prediction: Old Dominion 67, Purdue 6
March Madness Betting Odds & Trends
Old Dominion Monarchs
Team record: 26-8 SU,13-20-1 ATS
Current Streak: won 3 straight games.
Old Dominion is 1-7-1 ATS in its last 9 games
Old Dominion is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Old Dominion’s last 5 games
Team record: 23-9 SU,17-15 ATS
Purdue is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
Purdue is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Purdue’s last 6 games
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