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Gonzaga vs. Purdue Expert Pick – March 29, 2024

Gonzaga vs. Purdue Expert Pick – March 29, 2024

GONZAGA VS. PURDUE EXPERT PICK – MARCH 29, 2024 – One of the Sweet Sixteen matchups in the Midwest region has already happened this season. Gonzaga and Purdue faced off in Hawaii at the beginning of the season but will be in Detroit on Friday. Purdue fans should be plentiful, but familiarity should also play a role. The game will tip off at 7:39 p.m. EST with TV coverage on TBS and truTV.

Check out the Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks page.

Related: Sweet 16 Power Rankings

The Odds 







(25-7 SU) 






(29-4 SU)






When: Friday, March 29 at 7:39 p.m. EST 

Where: Little Caesar’s Arena, Detroit, MI


Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 27th, 2024

Gonzaga vs. Purdue Head-To-Head

Gonzaga routed both opponents through the first two rounds. They beat McNeese State 86 to 65 and then thrashed Kansas 89 to 68. They were down one at halftime against Kansas but beat them by 22 in the second half. Anton Watson was the leading contributor and scored 21 on 73% shooting. They shot 60.3% as a team and held Kansas to 38.6% from the field.

Purdue had a couple of easier matchups in the first couple of rounds that they earned being a one seed. They beat Grambling State 78 to 50 and followed that up with a 106 to 67 victory over ninth-seed Utah State. Zach Edey had 30 points and 21 rebounds against Grambling and 23 and 14 boards against Utah State.

The first meeting between these teams was in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational. Purdue won 73 to 63, and Edey had 25 points and 14 rebounds. Graham Ike and Anton Watson had four personal fouls, which limited their minutes. Ryan Nembhard also shot one of nine from three and only had six assists, below his season average of 6.9 per game. Foul trouble played a role in the game that took place on November 20. Gonzaga also shot 18.8% from three, well below their season average of 36.3%. Purdue was a 5.5-point favorite and overcame a five-point deficit at halftime.

Related: Alabama vs. North Carolina Pick and Prediction

Gonzaga vs. Purdue In-Season Trends

The first matchup should play a role in this upcoming game. Mark Few is one of the best coaches in the nation and will undoubtedly have his team prepared better than they were in November. Gonzaga is also a completely different team than earlier in the season. They have found their groove, and Ike has improved noticeably throughout the season. The junior averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season.

Few and the Bulldogs did an admirable job guarding Edey in the first half in November but struggled down the stretch. Ike must do a better job of staying out of foul trouble so Gonzaga can maintain a steady pace on offense. The defense must draw Edey away from the basket and force him to get the ball higher on the block so he cannot utilize his drop step.

Another factor they need to improve from the first meeting is turnovers. Purdue only forced 5.6 steals per game throughout the season but forced Gonzaga to turn the ball over 14 times, with some crucial turnovers coming down the stretch of that first game. Purdue is also a better team than in November, but they can lose, as Wisconsin proved in the Big 10 tournament. The Badgers only had five turnovers in that game, which was a factor in their win.

When Purdue has the ball, they will look to play inside-out. They rank first overall, shooting 40.9% from behind the arc. Edey has been a much better passer this season, averaging 2.1 assists per game. The key for Gonzaga will be guarding the perimeter when Edey has the ball in the post. The Boilermakers will crush you from behind the arc, but the game can be close if the Bulldogs force Edey to beat them inside. Gonzaga only shot 18.8% from three in the first matchup but will be more on point on Friday.

The Pick

Ryan Nembhard is an X-factor in this matchup. He shot one of nine from three in the first matchup, and I can assure you that will not happen again.

Since that matchup, Nembhard has not taken more than six threes in a game and is shooting 32.4% from three this season. He will knock down more shots and take care of the ball. Mark Few will also rotate his players on Edey to limit foul trouble. Gonzaga cannot afford to have their rotations altered and ruin their flow. Purdue may still win this game, but it will be much closer and harder fought down the stretch than in November.

Trent’s Picks

Gonzaga +5.5



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