Vegas Odds: Purdue -4 Bet at bodog
Why Siena will win:
Unlike Purdue, which will be relying on 2 players to do the bulk of the work on offense, Siena can beat you with a variety of weapons. The RPI hasn't really lied in this tourney, as wins by quality mid-majors like ODU & Murray St has proven. Siena, at 30th, is no joke, and you obviously can't forget their recent NCAA Tournament success.
Saint to Watch:
Ryan Rossiter, F - 14 ppg, 11 rpg, 1 apg
Since New Year's Rossiter has been a double-double machine, but he was inconsistent against some of the better non-conference teams early on. JaJuan Johnson is the real deal for Purdue, and the Saints will need to counter with a big game from the junior.
Why Purdue will win:
Is Purdue the same team w/o Robbie Hummel? No, but that doesn't mean they're bad. JaJuan Johnson is a legit force down low and has been playing his best basketball in the last 2 months. E'Twaun Moore is the best scorer on the court. More importantly, Purdue wins with defense anyways and they're 5th in the country in defensive efficiency.
E'Twaun Moore, G - 17 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg
Without Hummel, Moore's scoring is even more crucial then it was early in the year. Anything less then 20 points and Purdue will struggle to pull away.
How it will go down:
Siena hasn't won a big game all season, and on the most part they haven't really come close against the likes of Butler, Temple, St. Johns, and Northern Iowa. Purdue won't dominate, but their defense will carry them to a win.
Betting Pick: Purdue (this seems like a fair line however, so I wouldn't touch it)
Real Pick: Purdue