Purdue will look to make history in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, and it starts on Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson.
No team to begin the season unranked and secure a No. 1 seed in the ‘Big Dance’ has ever made it to the Final Four in 36 prior instances. The Boilermakers fit the bill of this team around very likely Wooden Award winner Zach Edey.
Purdue’s first round opponent Fairleigh Dickinson blasted Texas Southern to make the official first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, but will have their work cut out for them in the eyes of oddsmakers.
Will Edey and co. roll to the second round against an outmatched opponent? Before we dish out a best bet, here are the odds:
Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue odds, spread and total
Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue prediction and pick
The key to this one will be how Purdue handles FDU’s heavy ball pressure. The Knights are 35th in the country in turnover rate and the Boilermakers have been loose with the rock at times, turning the ball over at the second highest rate in Big Ten play (a non ball pressure conference).
I expect FDU to press for the entire game and look to tip the game in their scales however they can by winning the possession battle. But, if and when the Boilermakers adjust and handle the press, or the Knights run out of gas, the No. 1 seed will feast on the inside with Edey.
The Knights are the shortest team in terms of average height in the entire country, according to KenPom, and allow the 10th highest two-point percentage nationally.
FDU will look to get some easy buckets in transition against an inexperienced Purdue back court, but it should be easy pickings for Matt Painter’s group in the half court. While I don’t want to get involved with the spread, I’ll eye the over in what should be an up-tempo matchup due to the Knights defensive scheme.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.