NCAA Tournament Midwest Region First Round: #4 Purdue Boilermakers vs #13 Vermont Catamounts

2017 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – First Round
#4 Purdue Boilermakers vs #13 Vermont Catamounts
Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7.27 pm Eastern, TV: TruTV
BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Opening Line: Purdue -9
Current Line: Purdue -10
Opening Total: 136
Current Total: 135
Opening Money Line: Purdue -430 / Vermont +345
Current Money Line: Purdue -550 / Vermont +425

Purdue is favored over Vermont in the first round Thursday in Milwaukee.

Purdue is 25-7 this season and is the #4 seed in the Midwest region. The Boilermakers will take on the #13 seed Vermont Catamounts in the first round Thursday in Milwaukee. Vermont is 29-5 this season. The winner between Purdue and Vermont will face either #5 seed Iowa State or #12 Nevada in the second round Saturday. Purdue won the only previous meeting at home 107-79 last season.

Vermont is coached by John Becker. The Catamounts have won 21 straight games including 16-0 in the America East Conference. Vermont has the longest winning streak in the nation and were one of two teams to finish undefeated in conference play along with Princeton in the Ivy league. The Catamounts beat Albany 56-53 in the America East Championship game last Saturday. Vermont is making their sixth trip since 2003 to the NCAA Tournament and first since 2012.

Vermont has road losses at Providence, South Carolina and Butler, plus a home loss to Northeastern and a neutral site loss to Houston in Estero, Florida. Vermont has neutral site wins over Wofford and Hofstra in Estero, home wins over Yale, Dartmouth, Eastern Michigan and Harvard. The Catamounts have road wins at Quinnipiac, Marist and Siena. Vermont has key conference fins over Stony Brook twice, New Hampshire three times, Albany three times, and UMBC twice. Vermont is 4-4 ATS and the total is 2-6 this season. The Catamounts were 10.5 point favorites against Albany and the total was 125.

Purdue is coached by Matt Painter. The Boilermakers won the Big Ten regular season title with a 14-4 record but were upset by #8 seed Michigan 74-70 in overtime in the Big Ten quarterfinals last week in Washington. Purdue is making their 29th trip to the NCAA Tournament including three straight. The #5 seed Boilermakers were upset by #12 Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round last season.

Purdue has home losses to Villanova, and  Minnesota, plus road losses at Louisville, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan. The Boilermakers have home wins over McNeese State, Georgia State, Morehead State, Cleveland State, Norfolk State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State, Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan State, and Indiana. Purdue has road wins at Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Penn State and Northwestern. The Boilermakers have neutral site wins over Utah State and Auburn in Cancun, Arizona State in New York City, and Notre Dame in Indianapolis. Purdue is 17-10-2 ATS this season and the total was 16-12-1 this season. The Boilermakers were 2.5 point favorites against Michigan in the quarterfinals and the total was 138.5.

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Vermont is outscoring teams 74-62 this season. The Catamounts are #11 in points allowed naturally. Vermont is shooting 49.6% from the field and 36.9% from 3 point range. The Catamounts are #9 nationally in field goal percentage. Vermont makes 70.2% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 33% from three point range. The Catamounts average 34.2 rebounds a game and opponents average 27.5 per game. Vermont is #10 nationally in rebounds allowed. Vermont averages 13.4 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.2 assists, 13 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 2.6 blocks per game.

Anthony Lamb averages 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Payton Henson averages 11.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Trae Bell-Haynes averages 11.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Ernie Duncan averages 8.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Kurt Steidl averages 8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Five other players get time in the rotation.

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Purdue is outscoring teams 80-67 this season. The Boilermakers are #35 nationally in scoring. Purdue is shooting 48% from the field and 40.6% from 3 point range. Purdue is #28 in field goal percentage and #5 in three point shooting nationally. The Boilermakers make 76.4% of their free throws and are #20 nationally. Opponents are shooting 41.3% from the field and 32.3% from three point range. The Boilermakers are #50 or better in both categories nationally. Purdue averages 38 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.6. The Boilermakers are #24 in rebounds allowed. Purdue averages 18.2 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.4 assists, 12 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Caleb Swanigan averages 18.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Isaas Haas averages 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Vince Edwards 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Carsen Edwards averages 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Dakota Mathias averages 9.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Four other players will get time in the rotation. Forward Jacquil Taylor is out for the season with an ankle injury.

Vermont is 4-1 ATS as a neutral site underdog, 5-11 in non-conference games, 8-18-1 overall, 6-16-2 after a straight up win, 2-6-1 as an underdog, 4-16-1 against teams with winning records and 1-5 as an underdog of 7-12.5 points.

Purdue is 4-1 ATS in neutral site games and as a neutral site favorite, 3-1-1 after a loss and failing to cover, 6-2-1 as a favorite of between 7-12.5 points, 21-8-3 as a favorite, 20-8 in non-conference games, 1-3-1 against teams with winning records and overall and 1-4 in Thursday games.

Vermont is the hottest team in the country and have the potential to make a deep run in the tournament. Purdue likes to run but Vermint has one of the best scoring defenses in the country. Still I think Purdue escapes with a close victory.

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