We head to the Big Ten tournament where we get to see THE Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Purdue Boilermakers. Ohio State is coming off a scare against Minnesota where they damn near got beat by a brutal Gophers team. Ohio State has been struggling losing 4 straight before their win against Minny in the Big Ten tournament. Meanwhile, Purdue has looked solid lately entering the conference tournament.
Purdue has beaten OSU twice already this season. We all know how hard it is to beat a team 3 times in the same year. Purdue has flourished late in the season and has really seen some big time help from freshman Jaden Ivey and 7 foot 4 big fella Zach Edey. Zach Edey is an absolute WAGON. I think Purdue will be too much for the buckeyes and will cause problems in the paint for Ohio State standout, EJ Liddell. I’m going to back the Boilermakers to roll the buckeyes and in fact, beat Ohio State three times this year. There are three things certain in life. Death, taxes, and Matt Painter. Give me the Boilermakers!
The Pick: Purdue +2 @ -110
Iona Gaels vs. Niagara Purple Eagles
The mid major play of the day takes us to a semifinal game in the MAAC Championship. It is the 10-5 Iona Gaels -6 against the 9-10 Niagara Purple Eagles. Iona comes into this contest winning their last 4 games while Niagara has won 3 of their last 4. The Gaels have won two games in this MAAC Conference Tournament and had yesterday off. Niagara won their lone Conference tournament game against Marist yesterday and will have to play this game as the 2nd leg of a back-to-back.
Iona is ranked 208th on offense and 185th on defense, per KenPom. Niagara is ranked 222nd on offense and 275th on defense. Iona has the advantage everywhere on offense. The Gaels rank 91st in 3 point shooting % and 183rd in 2 point shooting %. The Purple Eagles rank 262nd and 291st in these categories. Iona ranks 60th in free throw % while Niagara ranks 188th. Iona also should hold an advantage on the boards. Iona averages 37.3 rebounds per game while Niagara averages 31.4.
Iona was one of the favorites to win the MAAC this year before multiple Covid pauses and injuries derailed them. Now the Gaels are healthy and rolling winning their last 4 games. They also benefit by having Hall-of-Fame Coach Rick Pitino running the show. Expect Iona to come out firing on offense and flex their muscles on the boards. This should lead to a win and a cover of the -6 spread. Best of luck!
The Pick: Iona -6 @ -110
NCAAB Expert Picks
Purdue +2 @ -110 (Click to bet)
Iona -6 @ -110 (Click to bet)