Purdue Boilermakers vs. Virginia Commonwealth Rams
The #3-seed Purdue Boilermakers are 9-point favorites over the #11-seed Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the third round of the South West region of the NCAA tournament.Â The over/under total for the game is set at 135.
Virginia Commonwealth is 25-11 overall and 15-20 against the spread.Â They opened its action on Wednesday with a First Four contest in Dayton against Southern California, notching a 59-46 victory as a four-point underdog.Â The Rams negated the Trojans’ size advantage in the paint, limited USC to just one three-pointer in nine attempts and forced 15 turnovers to their eight. Jamie Skeen was the only VCU player in double digits on the scoreboard with a game-best 16 points.Â The six-foot-nine senior added nine rebounds to just miss a double-double despite being on the court just 29 minutes due to foul trouble. The boxscore told a similar story in Friday’s 75-56 win over 6-seed Georgetown who was favored by 5.Â The Rams frustrated the Hoyas on the perimeter, holding Georgetown long-range shooters to just 5-of-26 and once again winning the turnover battle by a 17-6 margin. This time it was senior guard Brandon Rozzell providing the scoring highlights with 26 points off the bench, canning six of his 10 tries from beyond the arc with VCU converting on 12-of-26 as a team.Â The Rams also spent a lot of time at the free throw line, making 26-of-39 while Georgetown was hitting on 11-of-13.
Purdue is 26-7 on the season and 19-10 against the spread.Â The beat St. Peters on Friday by a score of 65-43.Though they handily covered the 15-point spread and led by as many as 27 in the game, the Boilermakers’ win over the Peacocks wasn’t as pretty as the scoreboard might indicate. Purdue committed 16 turnovers, seven by E’Twaun Moore who led the Boilermakers with 19 points. The Boilermakers made up for the turnoverst with a big advantage on the boards, 40-26.Â JaJuan Johnson was a beast with 16 rebounds on his own to go with his 16 points.
The ‘under’ 135 looks particularly appealing in a battle between these two squads.Â Neither team plays an up-tempo style and both teams rely on stellar defense to win.Â The der 135 will be my only wager for this 3rd round NCAA March Madness game.