BOSTON- Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls…. Your Purdue Boilermakers are back in the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row and this time, don’t have to battle a one seed playing 45 minutes from their campus.
Purdue and Texas Tech meet tonight at approximately 9:57 ET in Boston (as if you didn’t know) and for you betting people out there, the Boilers are a two-point favorite.
Texas Tech finished the season ranked 14th in the country with a 26-9 record and second-place finish in the mighty Big 12. Led by former UALR coach Chris Beard, the Red Raiders also won their first NCAA Tournament game since the 06-07 season when they also made it to the Sweet 16.
I got a firsthand look at Texas Tech earlier this season when they played Boston College in the Tip-Off Tourney. Superstar Keenan Evans scored 18 of his 29 points in the second half and Texas Tech won by 11.
Keenan Evans and the Red Raiders only average 75 ppg but are stingy on defense. Freshman guard Zhaire Smith not only made the All-Newcomer Team in the Big 12 but was also selected to the All-Defensive Team.
For Purdue, we all know the storyline: Will Issac Haas play or not and if not, how will they improve on their performance against Butler without him?
Matt Haarms’ hair played 29 minutes in the win over Butler and scored seven points while grabbing six boards and blocking two shots. Jacquil Taylor and Grady Eifert combined for four points and six rebounds. Most importantly, those three didn’t have a single turnover.
The NCAA approved Haas’ brace, but will he play? Who knows.
PREDICTION: I didn’t drive 12 hours from North Carolina yesterday to watch Purdue lose tonight or Sunday.
Purdue 83 Texas Tech 77
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