Matt Painter and Purdue are rolling into the Elite 8 and a massive showdown against Tennessee is set for Sunday. That will be a matchup of 1-seed vs. 2-seed with a shot to get to the Final Four.

In Friday’s 80-68 win against Gonzaga, Zach Edey was once again dominant with 27 points and 14 rebounds. He now has 23+ points and 14+ rebounds in every NCAA Tournament game this season. This time around, the shooters for the Boilermakers are also knocking down their shots while shooting 45% (9-for-20) from 3-point range and 57% from the field.

With that type of offensive performance, it’s sometimes easy to get carried away with certain aspects of the game. However, Painter puts the success on a very simple stat, but it’s key for Purdue entering the Elite 8.

“More than anything, with this win we’re 26-0 this year when we have 13 or less turnovers. Just taking care of the basketball. When we give ourselves a chance to score and we execute and get good shots, outside of making them, we also are a good offensive rebounding team. Then if we do miss them and don’t get it, it sets our defense,” Painter illustrated.

“So that just kind of enhances that for us. Throughout the year, when we take care of it, we outrebound our opponents by about 10 normally. We didn’t quite get there tonight. But we’re also playing someone who outrebounds their opponents by 7.5, I think. They’re a very good rebounding team.”

When the final horn sounded Friday night, Purdue had just 9 turnovers while recording 24 assists on 32 made field goals for an assist-to-turnover ratio above 2.5. Purdue has kept its assist-to-turnover ratio above 2-to-1 throughout March Madness. In the first two rounds, the Boilermakers had just 19 combined turnovers while registering 52 assists.

Painter went on to describe his group as balanced in a “possession war” this postseason. Sometimes, success in big games is as simple as taking care of the ball, and it sets up the Boilermakers with a shot to reach their first Final Four under Painter and their first overall since 1980.

How turnovers will impact Elite 8

One positive impact of Purdue’s intense nonconference scheduling includes the fact the Boilermakers have already seen several NCAA Tournament foes. That includes Gonzaga, a team the Boilermakers saw early in the season, and Elite 8 foe Tennessee.

That game was far from easy as both sides finished shooting below 36% from the field in a 71-67 win for the Boilermakers in the Maui Invitational. The two sides also combined for 51 fouls and 78 free throws in a less-than-desirable game flow.

In the rematch, Purdue is listed as a 3.5-point favorite per ESPN Bet with a point total of 147.5 points. That means fans could be in store for a bit more free-flowing game this time around, and fans can track the latest odds and trends with Tradition’s Ohio sports gambling apps.

Revisiting the turnover battle, Purdue lost that the first time around with 16 turnovers against the Vols (Tennessee had just 10 in that game), and the Boilermakers registered just 8 assists on 19 made field goals. However, the performance of Edey is particularly noteworthy.

Despite averaging 2.2 turnovers per game this season, Edey finished the first win over Tennessee without a turnover while delivering a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double. His efficiency also jumps off the page with a 7-for-10 shooting effort against the Vols.

Has Tennessee figured out how to guard Purdue’s massive and dominant big man? That’s likely the key to Sunday’s showdown based on the recent stretch from the Boilermakers and Edey’s first game against the Vols.

When Purdue plays clean, the Boilermakers roll. And even if they don’t, Edey is a problem few teams have an answer for.