Southwest Region Second Round Tourney Betting: St. Peter’s vs. Purdue

2011 NCAA Tournament Second Round – Southwest Region
#3 Purdue Boilermakers vs. #14 St. Peter’s Peacocks, United Center, Chicago, IL
Friday, March 18, 2011, 7:20 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Purdue -15.5
Current Line: Purdue -14.5
Opening Total: 120.5
Current Total: 120.5
Money Line: Purdue -1400 / St. Peter’s +900

Big Ten Tournament Betting Preview
JuJuan Johnson and the Boilermakers will try to get back on the winning track against St. Mary's.

The 14th-seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks (20-13) thrived as underdogs down the stretch of the regular season and into the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, where they knocked off the two top seeds on their way to the championship.  The Peacocks are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995 and have a much bigger challenge in front of them here in the second round of the Southwest Region when they face the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers (25-7) on Friday.

St. Peter’s has been an underdog in six of its past seven games and will play that role again against the Boilermakers (-14.5), who have dropped their last two games despite being favorites both times.  In five of those seven games, the Peacocks were dogs of less than five points and won two of those straight-up.  They also won the MAAC tournament as a 7.5-point dog against top seed Fairfield (62-48) in the semifinals and as a 9-point dog against #2 Iona (62-57) in the title game.

Meanwhile, Purdue is coming off a blowout loss to Michigan State 74-56 as a 7-point favorite in the Big Ten Conference tournament quarterfinals last Friday.  The seventh-seeded Spartans clearly needed that victory more than the Boilermakers to get into the Big Dance and played like it from the opening tip.  The team’s two best players did show up though, as JuJuan Johnson totaled 21 points and nine rebounds while E’Twaun Moore scored 17.  Their teammates managed to add just 18 points though on 5 of 21 shooting from the field.

Johnson won Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors and has been part of a school-record 106 wins along with fellow senior Moore.  The duo would have been leading a legitimate national championship contender had last year’s leading scorer and rebounder Robbie Hummel not blown out his knee again when Purdue started practicing before the season started

Without Hummel, the Boilermakers still reached the 25-win plateau for the fourth straight year.  However, their depth will be tested even more after backup guard Kelsey Barlow was suspended earlier this week by head coach Matt Painter for conduct detrimental to the team.  Barlow averaged five points per game but was a valuable defender and could be missed after Painter was forced to make a tough decision.

“It is disappointing,” Painter said. “You’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to make mistakes over the course of time. You just don’t want to see that consistent behavior. When you see that, I think you’ve got to make the best decision for your team.”

Purdue closed out the regular season with a surprising 67-65 loss at Iowa as a 9-point favorite, ending the team’s seven-game winning streak and any chance of tying Ohio State for the regular-season Big Ten title.  The Boilermakers were 6-1 against the spread during their winning streak.

If you are betting this NCAA tournament college basketball game between Purdue & St. Peter’s, make sure to check out the winning basketball picks packages we offer.  You can also get free winners on our free NCAA basketball picks page.

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