#24 Purdue vs Minnesota Road to March Madness

#24 Purdue vs Minnesota Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 10, 2021

At 12-7 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten, Minnesota is definitely on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Gophers could use a quality win over No. 24 Purdue in Big Ten action on Thursday to boost their resume, with the Boilers likely as short NCAAB favorites.

How to Bet Purdue at Minnesota NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

These schools just played Jan. 30 at Purdue and the Boilers won 81-62 when they were unranked and the Gophers were No. 21. Brandon Newman scored 21 of his career-high 29 points in the second half, and Trevion Williams added 17 points and 14 rebounds and Purdue overcame an early 14-point deficit. Purdue went 8 of 10 on 3s in the second half after missing all five of its attempts beyond the arc in the first half. The Gophers dominated most of the first half as they took a 24-10 lead. But the Boilermakers rallied late, trimming the deficit to 35-30 at the half.

Why Bet on Purdue? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Boilers (13-7) have split their past four following Saturday’s 75-70 home win over Northwestern. The Boilermakers took control for good when Eric Hunter Jr. capped a 6-0 spurt with a layup that made it 51-42 with 11:56 to play. The Wildcats never got closer than four the rest of the game. It was Purdue’s ninth straight win in the series, its longest since 1994-98 and gave coach Matt Painter his 350th career win and victory No. 175 in Big Ten play. The win was Purdue’s 1,850th all-time, becoming the 11th collegiate program to reach that mark.

Purdue’s freshman class scored 53 of Purdue’s 75 points in the win. The 53 points are the second most scored by the freshman class during the Painter era. Purdue had four freshmen in double-figures vs. Northwestern, the first time since Nov. 24, 2007, vs. Loyola, Chicago that Purdue has had four freshmen in double-figures.

Jaden Ivey scored a career-high 20 points with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and no turnovers in 36 minutes of action. Zach Edey recorded his first career double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in 23 minutes. Mason Gillis scored 11 points on perfect shooting (4-of-4 FGs, 3-of-3 3Ps). Purdue is 4-0 when Gillis scores at least 10 points.

Ivey was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday. For the season, Ivey is averaging 8.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 19.8 minutes per contest. He has scored in double-figures in five of his last seven games and ranks third among all Big Ten freshmen in scoring behind Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson (15.1 PPG) and teammate Brandon Newman (9.7 PPG).

Purdue went 23-of-24 from the free throw line, making its first 21 attempts. Purdue wore its gold uniforms and has now won 13 straight games when wearing gold uniforms. Its last loss came vs. Minnesota on New Year’s Day 2017.

Guard Sasha Stefanovic, the Big Ten’s top three-point shooter entering the game, returned after missing three games following a positive COVID-19 test. Stefanovic scored four points but was 0 for 4 from the floor and 0 for 3 on 3s.

Why Bet on Minnesota? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Gophers (12-7) ended a three-game skid with a 79-61 home win over Nebraska on Monday. Minnesota weathered a drought of 7 1/2 minutes, missing 17 straight shots as Nebraska cut a 19-point deficit to 52-45 midway through the second half. Without leading scorer Teddy Allen, the Cornhuskers could get no closer, however. Allen was held out of the game for what the Big Ten Network reported as “a failure to meet internal expectations.”Marcus Carr scored 11 of his 19 points in the last five minutes, Jamal Mashburn, Jr. added a career-high 11 points and Brandon Johnson scored 13 points with 10 rebounds for the Golden Gophers.

Carr played in his 50th career game as a Gopher on Monday. Carr, who played his freshman season at Pittsburgh, averages 17.1 points per game, 6.1 assists per game and 4.9 rebounds per game as a Gopher. At this point in his career, his 17.1 points per game would rank tenth in school history (minimum 40 games played) and would be the best career scoring average for a Gopher since Mychal Thompson averaged 20.8 points from 1975-78. His average of 6.1 assists per game would rank first in school history (minimum 40 games played) ahead of Ray Williams who averaged 5.7 from 1976-77.

Carr and Liam Robbins were both recently names Top 10 candidates for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award (Carr) and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award (Robbins).

As for Purdue, Minnesota has played eight ranked opponents this season (first eight games in Big Ten play) and was 4-4 in those games. The Gophers played only eight ranked opponents last season after facing 11 (a high in the Pinto era) in 2018-19.  Minnesota has won 11 games against ranked opponents during the last three seasons, which is the most in a three-season span in program history.

Expert Prediction

  • Minnesota 71, Purdue 70
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