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Boilermakers vs. Bearcats- Who Ya Got?

With the matchup against the Bearcats coming up fast I thought we'd get the predictions on "paper".

Octeus Prime
Octeus Prime
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

These two teams are if not mirror images than certainly murky images in a puddle of one another. Both teams pride themselves on their defense and holding their opponents below their scoring average. The Bearcats are possible most famous for their former coach Huggy Bear and his lovely sweatsuits. Oh, and not graduating people. There's that. Yes, I'm generalizing. Yes, that all seems to be in the past, but if I can't mock someone for their past what will I do? Why are we even here?

How close are these teams? Well let's just take a look at a couple stats.

  • Both teams shoot 45.3% from the floor
  • Teams shoot 40.1% against Purdue and 39% against Cincinnati
  • Purdue shoots a red hot 33.5% from three while Cincinnati shoots an abysmal 33.3%
  • Purdue shoots a killer 68.5% from the free throw line compared to Cincinnati's laughable 67.4%
  • Purdue averages 5.3 blocks per game while Cincinnati averages 5.4
You can see just by taking a look at those numbers that these teams know exactly what they are getting into by playing each other. It's like playing another B1G game for Purdue. It's just another day. I hope that's the mentality the team takes into the game. With no one except Jon Octets ever playing in an NCAA Tournament game I worry about nerves causing a slow/mistake prone start. We've seen Purdue struggle against pressure numerous times this season and I'm worried if Cincinnati pressures Purdue it could lead to an early struggle. Let's hope that's not the case.

Here's the thing though; Purdue doesn't lose first round games (yes I know this round technically isn't called the first round anymore but I refuse to acknowledge that bull). Purdue has the longest active streak of winning opening round games. I don't expect that to end today.

Purdue 67, Cincinnati 64

T-Mill Says:

Purdue is normally money in the first round. As I said int he preview, this is the 8th time in the last 15 tournaments we have been in a "toss-up" game of an 8/9, 7/10, 6/11 game and we're 7-0 in the previous seven. With two evenly matched teams I will go with the Boilers, who have a slightly better offense at 70 points per game and more balanced across the board in terms of scoring. The boys are not ready to be done yet, and even though Kentucky will very likely beat us if we get past Cincy, i can see it being a lot like the 2007 game against unstoppable Florida, where we fought like mad bastards for 40 minutes and made them earn it.

Andrew Holmes Says:

Purdue 62 Cincinnati 55
This might be a little bit high of a score, as this is obviously going to be a defensive battle. I think AJ has a big game if we can get the ball into him effectively.