Purdue and Tennessee square off in a heavy weight semi-finals match-up at the Maui Invitational
#2 Purdue (4-0) takes on #7 Tennessee (4-0) in the semi-finals of the Maui Invitational.
Purdue handled #11 Gonzaga 73-63 after Tennessee pulled away from Syracuse 73-56 in the first round games of the Maui Invitational to set up the 2019 Sweet Sixteen rematch.
It sets up one of the more fun match-ups available to a historically stacked tournament bracket. Rick Barnes and Matt Painter will face off for the first time in five years, when the Boilers got the better of Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen.
Tennessee comes into the tournament as the best defensive team in the country according to Kenpom, and a just outside the top 30 offense. Purdue has the fifth best defense after holding Gonzaga to 63 points and the third best offense in the country according to Kenpom.
Purdue is a bully in the post with returning Player of the Year, Zach Edey, while Tennessee looks to bully everywhere else with big, physical guards that defend the full length of the court while trying to make opposing guards’ life complete hell.
Both defenses allow less than 26% shooting from three while both offenses have a balanced attack. Tennessee was 5 of 14 from three against Syracuse. Purdue was just 4 of 17 against Gonzaga.
Purdue’s bench and young guards will be tested against a Tennessee team that plays with the blueprint that led to Purdue being upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
But Tennessee, like every other team in the country, has no answer for Zach Edey. Purdue has also gotten faster with transfer Lance Jones stepping right into the starting lineup, and two freshman Camden Heide and Myles Colvin who both had moments in their first Maui Invitational game.
Can Tennessee’s physicality get the best of #2 Purdue or will Zach Edey and Purdue’s non-conference dominance continue?
Can Tennessee play spoiler or is Purdue destined to set up a match-up with #1 Kansas in the finals?
Source link : https://purdue.rivals.com/news/purdue-vs-tennessee-maui-invitational-game-preview?yptr=yahoo
Author : Boiler Upload
Publish date : 2023-11-21 05:31:02
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.