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Purdue vs Duke Preview

It’s been so far so good for the Purdue Boilermakers, despite missing Robbie Hummel. Will that still be the case after they clash with the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16?

Purdue may be a No. 4 seed, but they’ve actually surprised a number of people by making it this far in the tournament. After losing Hummel (one of their top scorers) late in the season many predicted an early tourney exit for the Boilermakers. They’re still waiting.

The latest Sweet 16 odds has Purdue as a heavy underdog at +8 over at Bovada today.

Purdue started things off by taking care of No. 13 Siena 72-64 as a 4.5-point favorite at Bovada. JaJuan Johnson made everyone forget about Hummel by netting 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. In the second round the Boilermakers were a 2-point underdog versus Texas A&M at Bovada and needed overtime to get past the Aggies 63-61.

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Chris Kramer was a surprising offensive standout for the Boilermakers with 17 points and seven rebounds, and E’Twaun Moore added 15 points and six boards.

Don’t expect the Blue Devils to show any fear against the Boilermakers. Coach K has Duke playing some of its best basketball of the season right now after steamrolling through the first two rounds.

The Blue Devils got things started against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the winner of the play-in game; Duke easily took care of them 73-44 as a 24.5-point favorite. Kyle Singler scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds in the easy victory.

In the second round Duke drew No. 8 California and crushed the Golden Bears 68-53 as 6.5-point chalk. Nolan Smith led the Blue Devils with 20 points and Singler deposited 17 points. Brian Zoubek also sparkled in the win with 14 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting and 13 rebounds. If Duke’s big stars continue to deliver Purdue could have trouble matching their offensive output.

The Boilermakers are back in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year. Last season their tournament ended in the Sweet 16 after a loss to No. 1 seed Connecticut. Purdue last advanced past the Sweet 16 in 2000 when they fell in the Elite Eight.

Duke is also making their second-straight trip to the Sweet 16. They were knocked out in the Sweet 16 last season by a loss to No. 12 Villanova. Despite their reputation as one of the top basketball schools in the nation, Duke hasn’t made it past the Sweet 16 since 2004, when they made it into the Final Four.