What anonymous coaches think of Purdue's Final Four chances
One year after being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in the opening round, Purdue made it through the first weekend of March Madness and finds itself back in the Sweet 16. The Boilermakers posted wins over Yale and Texas to get back to this spot.
Now, the Boilermakers are matched up with darling No. 15 seed St. Peter’s with a trip to the Elite 8 hanging in the balance. With a win, Purdue will be just one victory away from its first Final Four berth since 1980.
Purdue is a heavy favorite heading into Friday night’s showdown, but this is March Madness and anything can happen.
ESPN spoke with anonymous coaches about the chances for each of the top remaining seeds to make a run at the Final Four. One B1G assistant believes Purdue will take care of business against St. Peter’s but could run into some issues in the Elite 8 game against UCLA or North Carolna.
“UCLA has more offensive options on the perimeter and I love UCLA’s winning DNA, but I lean toward Carolina [as the greater threat]. Purdue has good matchups for Armando Bacot, they have guys to guard him for 40 minutes — but does that neutralize the offense? R.J. Davis, Caleb Love, Brady Manek; can they get loose against Purdue?
“I don’t think Purdue is bad defensively in a big spot. I think they’ll be geared up to guard in a game like that. I don’t know if you’ll see it against Saint Peter’s, but in an Elite Eight game … They have their bigs; they have Mason Gillis, who plays his ass off; [Jaden] Ivey will be motivated to guard. It’s really just Sasha [Stefanovic], he’s the one [problem]. Ethan Morton will come off the bench and compete. So is Sasha going to have a bad matchup? I think that’s really what you’re talking about, and I think Carolina has a little more firepower.”
Purdue was ranked in the Top 10 of the Associated Press Poll through the entire 2021-22 season. With the combination of Jaden Ivey’s explosiveness, the big-man combination of Trevion Williams and Zach Edey and some of the best 3-point shooting in the country, the Boilers are going to be a tough out.
Will this finally be the year they’re back in the Final Four?