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Gonzaga vs. Purdue 2024 Sweet 16 Odds and Preview

By Hank Blaine

Could Friday be the last game in the historic college basketball career of Purdue center and two-time National Player of the Year Zach Edey? His top-seeded Boilermakers certainly could be upset by No. 5 Gonzaga in Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region action from Detroit. It’s a rematch from this regular season. The winner faces either No. 2 Tennessee or No. 3 Creighton on Sunday.

On Nov. 20, 2023, Purdue beat Gonzaga 73-63 in the Maui Invitational holiday tournament. Edey scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first half. The Boilermakers trailed by as many as nine points late in the first half but outscored the Bulldogs 43-28 in the second half. Purdue dominated Gonzaga in points in the paint, 44-30. The Zags were 26-for-69 shooting (37.7%) from the field. They shot 6 of 19 from beyond the arc in the first half, and went 0 for 13 from long distance the rest of the way.

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Purdue Boilermakers 2024 March Madness Sweet 16 Game Information

Why Bet on the Gonzaga Bulldogs?

Gonzaga (27-7) of the West Coast Conference has looked as good as it has all season in this Dance, beating No. 12 McNeese State 86-65 in Round 1 and then short-handed No. 4 Kansas 89-68 in Round 2 as the Zags improved to 16-2 since Jan. 18, with the only two losses coming to Saint Mary’s.

“Late December, it was looking like maybe it wasn’t going to happen,” said Mark Few after the Round 2 win. “But I’ll give credit. These guys stayed coachable. We figured it out.”

Gonzaga made its first five 3-pointers of the second half to blow it open, not missing from long range until 1:30 remained, and the game had long entered extended garbage time. KU stayed close in the first half by shooting 63.6% (7-of-11) from deep, which was the best first-half three-point shooting percentage for Kansas in a NCAA Tournament game since at least 2013-14.

During Gonzaga’s 15-0 run early in the second half, the Jayhawks missed 10 straight shots. Gonzaga eventually extended the run to 32-4; Kansas shot 2 for 23 during that stretch.

“Just an awesome performance by these guys and the rest of the guys in the locker room, especially that second half of defense,” said Few. “We talked at halftime. We had to bear down here and start getting some stops. Our offense was clicking really, really well.”

Ryan Nembhard, in his first season as a Zag, dished out 12 assists in the victory, moving ahead of Josh Perkins at No. 1 on the program’s single-season list. Nembhard, who needed 10 to tie Perkins’ 234 assists in 2019, had nine assists in the first half. He fed Graham Ike for a basket with 16:11 remaining and set up Anton Watson’s 3-pointer nearly 3 minutes later to take over the top spot.

It was the sixth time Nembhard finished a game with double-digit assists, and the fourth game this month. He’s tallied 21 total assists through the first two NCAA Tournament games and is averaging 10.8 assists over his last five games. The Bulldogs rank No. 2 in offensive efficiency and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage in the nation over the last five games (since March 2).

Watson led Gonzaga with 21 points, while Ben Gregg still went 6 for 6 from the floor and finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. Ike also had 15 and nine, going toe to toe with KU star Hunter Dickinson, who finished with a quiet 15 points. Gonzaga improved to 5-4 this season against power conference schools.

“We put together a great plan. I thought we executed it well,” Ike said of defending Hutchinson; a bigger challenge awaits vs. Purdue and National Player of the Year Zach Edey. “Staying mostly on his body, trying to stay physical the whole game and definitely getting him off the glass.”

The Zags have gone with a bigger lineup since inserting Gregg into the starting unit in January. They’ve made at least 50% of their shots in 18 of the last 23 games, including 11 hitting at least 56%.

This will be Gonzaga’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game in Detroit. The Zags are in their ninth straight Sweet 16, the longest active streak in the country and second only to North Carolina’s 13 straight appearances from 1981-93.

Why Bet on the Purdue Boilermakers?

No. 1 Purdue (31-4) blew out Grambling in Round 1 and then No. 8 Utah State in Round 2 by a score of 106-67. Purdue’s 106 points were the most in any game since November 2017 (106 vs. Fairfield) and the most in the NCAA Tournament in school history. The 106 points are the most for a Big Ten team in an NCAA Tournament game since 1999. The 39-point margin was the fourth-largest point differential in an NCAA Tournament round of 32 game and the largest margin since 1999.

Edey became the first player since Lew Alcindor (1968) to have at least 50 points, 35 rebounds and shoot 65 percent from the field in the first two NCAA Tournament games. Edey has 53 points and 35 rebounds while shooting 19-of-28 (.679) from the field in the first two games. Edey has scored at least 22 points in 12 straight games (26.4 PPG, 12.8 RPG).

Purdue improved to 8-0 this season against nationally-ranked teams, winning by an average of 10.1 points per game. It has won 19 straight games in the regular season and postseason against teams that are in a power conference or nationally ranked. Purdue has reached the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the last seven years, the second-most appearances in the country during that span behind Gonzaga’s seven. It marks the seventh trip of the Matt Painter era.

Gonzaga vs. Purdue Betting Trends

  • Gonzaga is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • Bulldogs are 11-1 SU in its last 12 games.
  • The total went over in 8 of Gonzaga’s last 11 games.
  • Purdue is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games played on a Friday.
  • Boilermakers are 17-2 SU in its last 19 games.
  • The total went over in 6 of Purdue’s last 9 games.

Gonzaga vs. Purdue 2024 Sweet 16 Expert Prediction

Gonzaga takes the win on Friday night and heads into the Elite Eight.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2024 March Madness Tournament previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest college basketball odds on our online Crypto sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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