The Rutgers Scarlet Knights picked up a big win for their NCAA Tournament resume against Michigan on Thursday, but a win against the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday would greatly reduce their perspiration levels on Selection Sunday.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Purdue Boilermakers (-5.5, 128)
Entering the Big Ten Tournament, Rutgers was fourth in the country overall in points allowed per possession, but allowing 21.7 points more per 100 possessions in games played away from home.
The Rutgers offense has also been one of the worst in the country since starter Mawot Mag went down with a season-ending injury. Including the February 4 game against Michigan State in which Mag left due to injury, Rutgers has scored 62 points or fewer in eight of their last 10 games.
The last time these teams played, Rutgers got a road 65-64 win with a 6-of-14 3-point shooting performance on January 2, which should regress as Rutgers entered the Big Ten tournament 295th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage at 31.9%.
The Scarlet Knights have to try to get their offense going against a Purdue team that is 21st in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage in games away from home and pair that with Wooden Award front runner Zach Edey.
The 7-foot-4 Edey is averaging 21.9 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game, ranking in the top 10 among qualifying Division I players in points and rebounds and 17th in blocks.
Edey’s contributions are also why Purdue has the top rebound rate in America at 58.4%, with no other team in the country above 56.5%.
With the way Rutgers has executed on offense without Mag coupled with Purdue’s ability to control the boards, Purdue will avenge their loss In January to Rutgers and make Selection Sunday sweaty for their conference foe.
The Play: Purdue -5.5
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