NCAAB Odds, Pick for Purdue vs Marquette
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Edey (Purdue)
Purdue vs Marquette Odds & Pick for Wednesday
Below we have Purdue vs. Marquette odds and a pick for Wednesday.
Purdue and Marquette have certainly been the best two teams during the first couple of days in Hawaii, setting up a thrilling championship bout.
Tyler Kolek outdueled DaJuan Harris as a facilitator in the semifinal matchup against Kansas. While Zach Edey spent much of Purdue's semifinal matchup on the bench in foul trouble, Fletcher Loyer stepped up to propel Purdue to an impressive win.
This Hawaiian championship will be a clash of styles, and it will be fascinating to see which style will be the victorious one.
This isn't the same Purdue team from last March.
The Boilermakers may take a while to cleanse their reputation after losing to Fairleigh Dickinson in the NCAA Tournament. But this year, they've proven they're more than a one-man show.
In their second seasons as Boilermakers, guards Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith have shown they're ready to turn the page.
Both played dreadfully against FDU last March. They were a significant reason Purdue lost in upset fashion, failing to handle the pressure and tempo from the Knights' backcourt.
In wins against Gonzaga and Tennessee the past two days, Loyer and Smith have looked like different players.
The defensive intensity Gonzaga and Tennessee played with will only be the appetizer to the intensity Shaka Smart's Golden Eagles play with.
Marquette hounded a usually poised DaJuan Harris and his Jayhawk teammates, forcing nearly 20 turnovers with relentless pressure. As Jay Bilas mentioned on the broadcast, this version of Marquette plays more like his VCU teams than any of his Texas teams ever did.
Still, the Boilermakers boast one unique advantage against any opponent they will face this season: last season's National Player of the Year, Zach Edey.
Edey is just a bigger, better version of Hunter Dickinson, whom Marquette just bested in the semifinal. Edey will look to avoid the foul trouble he faced against Tennessee and stay on the court, giving them a rebounding and size advantage against Marquette.
Marquette has shown as much potential as any team in the country.
Frankly, the Golden Eagles didn't play well Monday against UCLA, yet still snuck out with a win. The best effort of their season came the following night against Kansas, a game they controlled throughout.
Sean Jones was only Marquette's seventh man against Kansas, but his performance stood out. The Jayhawks couldn't keep up with his bursting speed, and he consistently drove downhill in a blink with a defender on his hip. Jones was called the fastest player in college basketball by his coach. If he legs are still fresh, his speed and dribble-drive penetration could cause problems for Purdue.
When briefly previewing the Marquette matchup with Purdue, Jay Bilas mentioned the size advantage the Boilermakers will have. The implication is that Purdue will have an edge in rebounding and paint scoring.
However, the same could have been said for Kansas against Marquette. Dickinson gathered 21 rebounds against Kentucky, and KJ Adams and Kevin McCullar are excellent rebounders at their positions.
Yet, the Golden Eagles bothered Kansas with on-ball pressure and active hands, deflecting passes and creating turnovers, preventing Kansas from getting shots on the rim.
Marquette isn't deep on the bench, as Shaka prefers to play only eight or nine players. It's fair to question whether the Golden Eagles' legs may tire when they take the court for their third game in three days.
However, I'd expect the opportunity to knock off the country's No. 1 and 2 teams in consecutive days should provide Marquette with plenty of motivation and energy.
If Oso Ighodaro plays at a similar level as he did against Kansas, Marquette can contain Edey and the Boilermakers. What Ighodaro lacks in size, he makes up for in his ability to time his jump when blocking shots. He is much more mobile than Edey, and I suspect he'll play confidently after a stellar performance against the Jayhawks.
A popular pick will be the Under, as both teams are playing their third game in three days.
However, I lean in a different direction.
Marquette's wins have been more impressive than Purdue's, given they erased a deficit against UCLA and then dominated the No. 1 team in the country.
But I'm fading Marquette's momentum and betting Purdue here.
Purdue is on a mission to erase last season's FDU debacle. The Boilers pulled away from worthy opponents in each of their Maui games.
I expect them to do the same in the final, building the confidence that this is a new and improved Purdue.