Purdue Boilermakers vs Tennessee Volunteers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Purdue Boilermakers (Away)

Head Coach: Matt Painter {Record: 25-9 | Conference: 16-4, 1st in Big Ten}

Expected Starting Five: (G) Carsen Edwards – (G) Ryan Cline – (G) Nojel Eastern – (F) Grady Eifert – (C) Matt Haarms

Purdue are looking to continue their run when they take on Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen. It will be the fifth appearance in the Sweet Sixteen for Matt Painter’s squad in a round that the Boilermakers have failed to break through in their last four attempts.

In their last two games, Purdue have won comfortably. They’ve outplayed both Old Dominion and Villanova in games where they were able to maintain their hot offence via impressive three-point shooting. Against a talented Tennessee squad Purdue’s shooting can’t fail them. On the positive side, they may very well have the advantage inside.

Look no further than Purdue’s giant in the middle, Dutch centre Matt Haarms. The 7’3 sophomore centre is exactly the type of player the Boilermakers need to stifle Tennessee’s athletic wings at the rim. He can be outmuscled on the inside, but his tremendous length allows him to recover to the tune of 2.0 blocks per game. Have we mentioned that Haarms is a willing three-point shooter? He may only shoot 30% on the year, but he certainly isn’t afraid to punish a defence that disrespects him from range.

Tennessee Volunteers (Home)

Head Coach: Rick Barnes {Record: 31-5 | Conference: 15-3, 2nd in SEC}

Expected Starting Five: (G) Lamonte Turner – (G) Jordan Bone – (F) Grant Williams – (F) Kyle Alexander – (F) Admiral Schofield

The Tennessee Volunteers are a dangerous team in the NCAA tournament who have frankly underperformed in their first two games of the tournament. Against both Colgate and Iowa, Tennessee gave up massive first-half leads. No more shocking than a 28-49 first half against Iowa, that turned into a heart-pounding overtime win after a 43-22 second half for Iowa.

The problems for Tennessee lie in the same place as their positives. The Volunteers are teeming with athletic, scoring wings who can at times struggle to contain the ball. Against Iowa only Jordan Bone boasted a notable defensive rating on the game (88), which bodes poorly against a hot-shooting Purdue squad.

The Volunteers will have to establish themselves inside if they want to pull off a win against the Boilermakers. Kyle Alexander is a player to watch. The 6’11 Canadian kept star forward Admiral Schofield on the bench, due to his ability to challenge defenders inside, shoot from range, and defend the rim. The senior will have his hands full against Purdue’s dutch giant Matt Haarms.

Purdue Boilermakers Roster Notes

C Emmanuel Dowuona – 11 Jan 2019 – OUT (Redshirt) – Dowuona is out for the season and has no timetable for his return.

Tennessee Volunteers Roster Notes

F Zach Kent – 11 Sep 2018 – OUT (Knee) – there is no timetable for Kent’s return.

Head-to-Head: Carsen Edwards (PUR) vs Grant Williams (TEN)

Two high-scoring guards face off in this matchup between Purdue and Tennessee. Both Edwards and Williams are capable role players off the swing, but really shine in isolation. While they won’t see much time guarding each other one-on-one, their singular scoring ability will have a massive affect on the game.


Carsen Edwards

Guard | 6-1, 200lb (185cm, 90kg) | 6-1, 200lb (185cm, 90kg) | Atascocita, TX | Junior

23.6 PPG | 3.0 APG | 3.6 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 3.2 TOV | .388 FG% | .346 3P%

If you didn’t know, Carsen Edwards put on an absolute show in his last match in the tournament. One-on-one outside of the zone, Carsen Edwards was unstoppable from range and attacking the hoop. He finished the night with 42 points and 6 rebounds on 9-16 shooting from deep and 9-9 from the free-throw line. He may not get the same looks with the length of Tennesee’s perimeter defence, but if he stays hot from range Tennessee will have a long night on their hands.

Grant Williams

Forward | 6-7, 236lb (201cm, 107kg) | Providence Day School | Charlotte, NC | Junior

18.8 PPG | 3.1 APG | 7.5 RPG | 1.2 SPG | 1.5 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .564 FG% | .341 3P%

Grant Williams was the hero of Tennessee’s last match against Iowa. With Admiral Schofield on the bench, Williams took over in the clutch. Of Tennessee’s 12 overtime points, six came from Williams to go with a huge assist to Bone for a three and a steal from Iowa’s Tyler Cook. Williams has big game and came up big in the clutch. There’s not a Boilermaker that can guard him one-on-one and he’s shown he has the playmaking to get out of tough situations. Williams is ready for the big time, he surely hopes his Vols are with him.

Purdue Boilermakers at Tennessee Volunteers Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Tennessee Volunteers favoured over the Purdue Boilermakers by 1.5, with an over/under of 110.