Purdue’s quest for an NCAA Championship starts on Friday night when the top-seeded Boilermakers take on No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. The game will air on TNT and start at 6:50 p.m. ET.
No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson picks
Spread: Purdue -23
Moneyline: Purdue -8000, FDU +2200
The Boilermakers finished off a stellar regular season by picking up a conference championship by defeating Penn State in the Big Ten Championship game. While Purdue has the best chance of ending the Big Ten’s 23-year title drought, they’re also susceptible to upsets, as they lost to St. Peter’s in the Sweet 16 last season and lost to North Texas in the Tournament the year prior. The Boilermakers are led by 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey, who averaged 22.3 points per game in the regular season en route to being named the Sporting News National Player of the Year. Outside of Edey, the Boilermakers are led by freshman guards Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith.
Fairleigh Dickinson earned a date with Purdue after it beat Texas Southern in the First Four. The Knights are led by freshman guard Demetre Roberts, who is averaging 16.6 points per game this season. The Knights had the No. 1 offense in the NEC, but don’t have a player taller than 6-foot-7. That size disadvantage didn’t FDU coach Tobin Anderson from saying the team could beat Purdue minutes after beating Texas Southern.
March 16, 2023
Pick: Purdue -23
While I think Purdue is fraudulent, they shouldn’t have any problem taking care of the Knights. While Edey should have a good look at the hoop every time down, I think most of the Boilermakers’ points will come on kick-and-shoots generated by the attention he’ll get down low. Purdue shouldn’t have any trouble covering against a severely overmatched Knights team.