On paper, this Sweet 16 matchup between Purdue and Saint Peters is the biggest mismatch in terms of team quality of all the remaining March Madness games.
Purdue is a 4 seed, matching up against the 15 seeded Saint Peters. Luckily for Saint Peters, games are not played on paper as the Peacocks have won two straight despite being massive underdogs in both games.
This game is the first Sweet 16 game on Friday, March 25th. It is being played in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo center at 7:09 PM ET.
Naturally, for the third straight game Saint Peters finds themselves huge underdogs again- Purdue is favored by 12.5 points with the over/under set at 134.
Looking at the moneyline odds, the only play would be to bet on Saint Peters in another huge upset. The odds are against them, though, as no 15 seed has ever made it beyond the Sweet 16. They are actually only the third Sweet 16 seed to ever even make it to the Sweet 16. So, to say the odds are against Saint Peters is the understatement of the century.
Looking at the Purdue side of this first, they have the talent to be one of the best teams in the nation. With that said had somewhat of a disappointing and rocky season, finishing 29-7 and losing to Iowa in the Big 10 championship.
Their best player in terms of pure talent is Jaden Ivy, who is a sophomore and most likely top 5 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Despite having all-world level talent, there are rumors that Jaden Ivy isn’t always the best teammate. He is by far their most talented player, and he knows it, so he can come across as distant from the rest of their team.
They also have two solid big men in Zach Edey and Trevion Williams. The issue, though, is that because both players are centers they rarely play on the court at the same time. So, at a minimum Purdue never has all 3 of their best players all share the court together.
If Purdue can get it together, and they have at least in the first two rounds, then they are a scary out and could easily blow the doors off of an inferior team in Saint Peters.
Saint Peters only made the tournament in the first place because they won their conference tournament, the MAAC. Despite being in a lower level conference, they still only finished the season 21-11. Far off from other teams in lower conferences such as the team they just beat, Murray State, who finished 31-3.
Saint Peters has always been a solid defensive team, having the 28th ranked defense in the entire nation, and that has shown up so far in the tournament, holding Murray State to only 60 points in their last game.
What has been a surprise through two games, though, is their offense. They graded out horribly on offense the entire season, but have been phenomenal offensively through two games. They even drew praise from college basketball legend JJ Redick on Twitter who said that Saint Peters runs really good offensive sets, “like REALLY REALLY good”, according to Redick.
Adding all this up, does Saint Peters have another round of cinderella in them? Unfortunately, I think not. Purdue just has too much size. 7’4 center Zach Edey will look like he is from a different planet to a much smaller Saint Peters team who’s tallest player is only 6’10 but doesn’t even play 10 minutes a game.
With Edey and Jaden Ivy, Purdue just has too much talent and I have a hard time believing Saint Peters has a 3rd miracle in them. I’ll take Purdue to win and cover here.
Purdue vs Saint Peters pick:
My March Madness Sweet 16 pick is that Purdue will win and cover the 12.5 spread. I bet this at -12.5 on BetRivers Sportsbook at -109 odds.
Purdue vs Saint Peters Prediction:
My March Madness Sweet 16 prediction is that Purdue will win the game 73-55.