The Purdue Boilermakers went on quite the run this season, topping the Big Ten Conference (26-5, 15-5) after finishing as the runner-up in the 2022 conference tournament, when they fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes 75-66 in the title game. The Boilermakers were clear +175 favorites heading into this year’s conference tourney and hoisted the championship by sneaking past Penn State 67-65 in the final. Purdue was a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance but was the victim of a massive upset in the first round at the hands of No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.
Zach was larger than life in Chicago.— Purdue Men's Basketball (@BoilerBall) March 13, 2023
✅: Most points in a single Big Ten Tournament by Purdue player (78).
👉: 2nd most by any player in 3 games.
✅: Most rebounds in a single Big Ten Tournament by Purdue player (38).
👉: 2nd most by any player in 3 games. pic.twitter.com/R7wm8F8aZ2
2022-23 Big Ten Tournament Odds
Odds as of March 12
Big Ten Tournament odds: Why Is Purdue The Favorite?
What a revelation Zach Edey has been. The seven-foot-four Canadian has taken a massive step forward in his junior year, averaging a whopping 21.9 points per game to rank eighth in the nation. Add to that the Toronto native’s 12.8 rebounds per game that rank third in Division 1 and his 2.3 blocks per game to backstop Purdue’s defense.
That last element is perhaps the most critical. While Purdue isn’t the most dominant offensive side in the nation, averaging 73.1 points per game to rank outside the top 100, it’s their defensive game that has powered them this season. Limiting opponents to 62.6 points per game, the Boilermakers have the 17th-best defense out of 363 schools.
⚡️ BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR ⚡️@zach_edey is the 5th Boilermaker to win #B1G POY.— Purdue Men's Basketball (@BoilerBall) March 7, 2023
First player in over 50 years to average at least 21 & 13 in @B1GMBBall games.
📊: 21.9 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 2.5 BPG pic.twitter.com/Xl3adu9laz
Edey is a big player (literally) in Purdue’s ability to shut down opposing offenses. Combine his defensive efforts with his elite scoring and the Boilermakers have one of the best players at this level. But in the team’s first conference tournament performance, Edey was well guarded and in a team sport like basketball, a side can’t always rely on a single player to lead them to glory.
So, it was comforting to see Mason Gillis step up to sink 20 points in the Boilermakers’ 70-65 win over Rutgers. Purdue advances to meet the Ohio State Buckeyes in the semifinals.
Last 10 Big Ten Tournament Winners
In 2022, the Iowa Hawkeyes picked up their third Big Ten tournament title and their first since 2006. The Michigan State Spartans have won the most championships with six, including the conference’s first back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000. The Spartans have added three more to their collection over the last decade.