- Trying to turn games against teams like Western Illinois, Santa Clara, Bryant, and North Dakota State into something meaningful makes my brain hurt.
- If Purdue loses on Wednesday, it's pretty embarrassing.
- Actually, it's embarrassing just to be in this tournament. Of course I'm glad the Boilers didn't have an even worse record, but prolonging a disappointing season isn't particularly fun.
- Honestly though, anything short of winning this entire thing (or possibly losing to Texas in the final) is a reason to hang your head.
- The majority of Purdue's fanbase will be unable to watch the game on TV. What the heck is an AXS? You know it's a pathetic excuse for a post-season tournament when it's barely being broadcast.
- Because I'm irrationally loyal and either addicted or masochistic, I was planning to watch the game. In fact, I was scheduled to do the recap, but I can't and had to switch duties with Erik. I'm in the majority that doesn't have AXS.TV.NET.COM.PARAGUAY even though my current residence has every other HD channel imaginable.
|The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl of NCAA basketball|
So get fired up for the Leathernecks vs. the Boilermakers - those nicknames just scream intensity!
Why Purdue Will Win
Western Illinois isn't very good, having not beaten or really even played a quality opponent all season (hey, they beat Yale though, whoohoo!). They will be missing their top two scorers for this game after senior guard Ceola Clark suffered a knee injury against North Dakota State. Forward Terell Parks, who was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Summit League, suffered a foot injury and has missed the team's last four games. Both those guys were first team all-conference, so look for the Leathernecks to struggle without them. Western also has no real size to compete with Hammons or Marcius, so expect big nights from the big men. The game is also at Mackey, so the Boilers have that home crowd advantage going for them, assuming anyone shows up.
Why Western Illinois Will Win
Because they care about this game and entire tournament more than Purdue? That's all I got.
One thing you absolutely need to know before the game Things I learned on Wikipedia: Western Illinois is in Macomb, Illinois, which is closer to both Iowa and Missouri than any relevant city or town in Illinois. Western has some notable alumni playing in the NFL, but by far their most prestigious alumnus is political consultant Mary Matalin. She holds the Guinness World Record for most days legally married to a snake/Gollum/Skeletor/an alien wearing human skin as a poor disguise (you choose which one, it's still quite a record).
|Definitely a face even uglier than IU's coach|
Our Picks - We like to think we're better than Vegas. So throughout the season, we'll be "betting" a whole dollar amount versus the spread. For this game we decided to bet the number of nicknames we could name for teams that made the NCAA Tournament. Erik is apparently a savant. The spread for this game is Purdue by 12.
Erik's Bet: $61
Erik's Pick: Purdue 64 - Western Illinois 41
Kirk's Bet: $52
Kirk's Pick: Purdue 67 - Western Illinois 53
Erik +363 (24-10 Against The Spread)
Kirk -104 (14-20 Against The Spread)