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The Gold Sheet

The Gold Sheet

(655) Tennessee at (656) Purdue

(655) Tennessee at (656) Purdue
March 31, 2024 2PM EDT
Play Rating:
2% – (655) Tennessee at (656) Purdue Total Over 147.5 (-110)

Just like Purdue's Sweet 16 clash with Gonzaga, this is another regular season rematch of a game that took place in Hawaii in November. Just like that first meeting with Gonzaga, Purdue emerged with a tight win over Tennessee in a sloppy game on the islands. The Vols and Boilermakers combined to shoot 26.7-percent from three-point range and they combined to miss a whopping 28 free throws. Pop quiz! When was the last time a No. 1 seed met a No. 2 seed in the Elite Eight for a trip to the Final Four? It happens all the time, right?! Nope. This is the first time since 2019 (pre-Covid!) where the top two seeds have advanced to a regional final. Tennessee will be battling the two F's in this matchup: Fouls and the flu. Fifth-year senior Santiago Vescovi unexpectedly missed the Vols' Sweet 16 win over Creighton with the flu. Head coach Rick Barnes said that his staff got Vescovi quarantined away from the team as fast as possible, but obviously the spread of a virus through the locker room is still a concern. With the emergence of Dalton Knecht this season, Vescovi's scoring impact has taken a dip but he's still a very important contributor on this team. The 22-year-old from Uruguay has started 144 games in his college career and provides a steady hand in the Vols' backcourt. Now it's time for the other F: Fouls. Tennessee committed 30 of them in that November loss to Purdue with two players fouling out of that contest. The Vols sent the Boilermakers to the free throw line 48 times, including 17 attempts by Zach Edey. Tennessee's defense is No. 250 in free throw attempts allowed and bottom-50 in the country in points allowed at the free throw line, so this is certainly a concern for Coach Barnes. All of that leads us toward looking at the over in this contest. Unlike the setup in Dallas, things look much more shooter-friendly in Detroit where Friday's games saw 157 and 148 points. These teams combined for 138 points in Hawaii while missing 28 free throws and 33 three-point attempts. We're just asking for a couple of those to go in on Sunday. Creighton and Purdue employ similar defensive schemes with Purdue having Edey patrol the paint, while Creighton has 7-foot-1 Ryan Kalkbrenner. Tennessee torched the Bluejays for 82 points on 1.22 points per possession on Friday. The Vols won't have to change their gameplan very much, they just have to continue making shots.

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