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Odds and Game Preview: #1 Purdue vs. NC State

Purdue looks to bounce back in NYC after a devastating upset.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Rutgers Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas time in New York City is supposed to be magical. For the Boilermakers, their trip to Brooklyn will come off the heels of a tragedy.

Purdue, donning their first #1 ranking, couldn’t get out of their first contest without an upset. Not too far from NYC, Purdue traveled to Jersey to take on a struggling Rutgers team without Geo Baker. It didn’t matter for the Scarlet Knights, who rode a hot Ron Harper Jr. to an incredible come from behind victory on a last second half court heave.

The two-point loss is the first for Coach Painter’s Boilermakers this season. Even more so, knowing that it all but forfeits their #1 ranking and reinforced a narrative that Purdue is not built for the big one.

But champions are not crowned in December, and the spectacle of a game in the Barclay Center is still something for the players to remember through the holidays.

#1 Purdue will take on the 7-2 NC State Wolfpack in a return to non-conference competition.

This was supposed to be the last easy stretch for the Boilermakers before the big hitters in the Big 10 showed up. NC State has been a team that’s beaten the teams they were supposed to beat and lost to the two decent teams they played - Louisville and Oklahoma St. They were close in both contests, losing by 6 and 5 points respectively.

They play an advantageous defense, looking to turn teams over and create transition looks. They are guard dominant on offense with Cam Hayes and Dereon Seabron looking to get to the hoop and attacking in the mid-range. Seabron has good size at 6’7” and plays with strength at the rim.

The Wolfpack has struggled from the three-point line. They’re shooting less than 30% from behind the arc. Hayes and Seabron are a combined 8 of 50 from beyond the arc. Look for Coach Painter to play percentages and go under on pick and rolls, daring the two ball handlers to beat them with their jumpers.

Purdue fans will recognize the name of NC State’s center, Ebenezer Dowuona, brother of former Boiler Emannuel Dowuona, who transferred out of the program over the off season.

Dowuona shared the same athleticism and length as his brother, and has shown some impressive rim protection for the Wolfpack, but he lacks heft. He will give up nearly a hundred pounds to Edey and Williams will have plenty of body against him.

He’s one of just two players over 6’10 for the Wolfpack. It looks to be a big advantage for the Boilers, who have struggled to get Zach Edey going the last few games.

It could be a long day for NC State. But I said that about Rutgers on Thursday. The one difference, that I definitely overlooked, is the familiarity Big Ten teams have with each other.

That familiarity for NC State won’t be there. It would likely take another heroic effort from a player to go off and upset Purdue, who should be more than hungry to show that their last game was a fluke and they’re still one of the best teams in the country.

NC State did knock off the one Big Ten opponent they faced on the season, besting Nebraska in four overtimes.

Purdue is 2-0 against the ACC this season with wins over North Carolina and Florida St.

Basketball GameDay Vitals

St. Peter's Peacocks Record: 21-11, 14-6 MAAC
St. Peter's Peacocks Record: 21-11, 14-6 MAAC
From: Jersey City, NJ
Game Location: Philadelphia, PA
Venue: Wells Fargo Center (19,500)
Odds: Purdue by 12.5
Date & Time: Friday, March 25, 2022, 7:09pm ET
Streaming Radio TuneIn
Live Stats: Purdue Sports
KenPom 101
NET 124
Blog Representation: None
2020-21 Record 14-11, 10-8
Postseason Result: None
NCAA Tournament History: 4th appearance. This is the first season they have won a game. 2017 CIT Champions
Series With Purdue: Purdue leads 1-0
Last Purdue win: 65-43 in Chicago, IL on 3/18/2011 (NCAA Tournament First Round)
Last St. Peter's win: None
Coach: Shaheen holloway (63-55 in 4th year at St. Peter's)