Villanova (1-0) at Purdue (1-0)
When: Monday, November 14th 2016
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: Big Ten Network
The defending National Champions, Villanova Wildcats, will get their first test of the young season when they travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the 15th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers on Monday night. The Wildcats won the Final Four on Kris Jenkins’ 3-pointer at the buzzer and started off the new campaign with an 88-48 thumping of Lafayette. Jalen Brunson had 17 points and Jenkins added 16 on Friday and Villanova races out to a 49-17 halftime lead. Preseason All-American Josh Hart scored 13 points in 23 minutes. The Wildcats held Lafayette to 29.2% shooting, including 6-of-32 from the beyond the arc, and dominated on the boards 53-33. Mikal Bridges came off the bench to contribute 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Leopards. The Wildcats will get Western Michigan up next on Thursday.
Purdue also had an easy time in their season opener with a 109-65 win over McNeese State. The Boilermakers got a big game from sophomore Caleb Swanigan, who recorded 23 points, 20 rebounds and six assists on Friday, including a 17-point, 10-rebound effort in the first half. He and Isaac Haas make up a terrific frontcourt for Purdue. Haas added 22 points, while Vince Edwards had 19 and 11 rebounds for Purdue, which played without three scholarship players including Basil Smotherman, was suspended for a summer arrest for marijuana use but will be available for Monday’s tilt. Haas, who shot 59.4% last season, was 9-of-11 from the field in the opener. Guard Spike Albrecht, a transfer from Michigan, contributed seven points, four rebounds and two assists in his Purdue debut.
Villanova is going to have a target on their back all season as the defending champions. Purdue is no slouch and I expect their frontcourt of Haas and Swanigan to have no problem tonight. Villanova might have the advantage in the backcourt, but this will be a tough environment for them to play in. I’ll take Purdue.
Pick: Purdue +2