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Virginia and Purdue Collide with Final Four Hopes on the Line

The Elite Eight matchup of the South Region features the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers tipping off against the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers at the KFC Yum! Center. A win would give Virginia its first Final Four berth since 1983-84, while Purdue is looking to put an end to its Final Four drought dating back to the 1979-80 season. The Cavaliers are a 4.5-point favorite in this contest with the total opening at 126 points.

Purdue vs Virginia Game Center

Standout Stats

  • Virginia has stumbled just once since February 11, falling to Florida State in an ACC tournament semifinal, and is 12-1 SU and 8-5 ATS in its last 13 games. Purdue has also been quite successful down the stretch, going 9-2 SU and 6-5 ATS in its last 11 contests, losing twice to Minnesota over that span.
  • These two teams have been on opposite sides of the total recently. Four of Virginia’s last five have gone UNDER, but five of Purdue’s last seven went OVER. Of the Cavaliers’ last five contests, only two went UNDER 126 points, and six of the Boilermakers’ last seven went OVER 126 points.
  • Purdue has a sizable advantage offensively, pouring in 76.7 points per game while Virginia averages 71. However, the momentum swings in favor of the Cavaliers on the defensive side of the ball as they surrender the fewest ppg in the nation at 54.8 and the Boilermakers allow 66.9 ppg.
  • Both Purdue and Virginia elect to get a large portion of their offense from beyond the arc. The Boilermakers produce 39.2 percent of their offense from downtown and the Cavaliers score 35.5 percent of their points from the same area. Virginia executes the game plan better, though, shooting 39.6 percent from long range, while Purdue hits 37.1 percent of its three-point attempts. Defensively, it’s not even close as the Cavaliers rank second in college hoops in opponent three-point percentage, while the Boilermakers are 170th.
  • With a large emphasis on three-point shooting in this game, rebounding could be a critical factor and Purdue has the edge in that department, securing 37.4 rebounds per game to Virginia’s 34.8. Both teams are similar in the turnover battle with very few takeaways and not that many giveaways per game.

My Best Bet for Purdue vs Virginia

Virginia -4.5

Although Purdue has the edge offensively over Virginia, I don’t think it will be able to break through that tough defense. The Boilermakers were limited to just 57 points when they played Michigan – granted, that game on December 1 happened at the Crisler Center – and Virginia has a better defense, in my opinion, than the Wolverines.

Additionally, both teams like to take plenty of three-point attempts, but the Cavs are better offensively and defensively in that area.