March Madness Round 1 Game: Siena Saints (27-6 SU 16-14-1 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (27-5 SU 12-17-2 ATS) Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA 2:30 PM EST Friday March 19, 2010 on CBS
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Purdue -4 / Siena +4
On Friday afternoon in a 1st round South Region game the 4th seed Purdue Boilermakers face the 13th seed Siena Saints. Many though Purdue had a legit shot at the getting to the Final 4 this season, but near the end of the season they lost Robbie Hummel to a season-ending knee injury and he is the Boilermakers 2nd leading scorer and rebounder. Now, many are saying that Purdue may the first high seed to be upset.
Siena is a solid team that won the Mid American Atlantic Conference by 4 games and they won the conference tournament. The Saints do not play in a tough conference, but they faced some tough teams early in the season. However, in those games they lost to Temple, Georgia Tech, and Northern Iowa, who are all playing in the Big Dance.
Siena is no stranger to playing big teams in the Big Dance, as this is their 3rd straight season playing in the NCAA tournament.
The loss of Hummel really hurts, as the next forward on Purdue’s depth chart is Patrick Bade, who is only averaging 1.6 ppg and 1.7 rpg. With Hummel out Purdue C JaJuan Johnson (15.2 ppg 7.1 rpg) really has to be the big guy on the glass, as Purdue has no other player that is averaging over 4 rebounds per game.
Siena has a solid offense, which averaged 75.5 ppg, and is very well balanced, with 2 forwards, a G, and a G/F averaging in double figures led by F Alex Franklin (16.3 ppg). They will have to figure out how to score on a Purdue defense, which is only giving up an average of 60.9 ppg.
Siena can with this game if they win the battle of the boards, especially on the offensive end, and that responsibility falls on Franklin (8 rpg) and F Ryan Rossiter (13.9 ppg 11.1 rpg). If Purdue can’t keep Siena off the boards they may be in big trouble.
Purdue will have to win this game with their defense since one of their main scorers will not play.
In the Mid American Athletic Conference finals Siena beat Fairfield in OT 72-65 on March 8th. The high scorer for Siena in the game was Edwin Ubiles going for 27 points on 10/20 shooting. For the game the Saints shot 30/68 for a FG% of 44.1%. On defense the Saints were solid holding Fairfield to 27/65 for a FG% of 41.5%.
In their last game Purdue was crushed losing to Minnesota 69-42 in the Big 10 conference tournament. The high scorer for Purdue in the game was JaJuan Johnson going for 17 points on 7/16 shooting. For the game the Boilermakers were colder than cold only shooting 16/58 from the field for a FG% of 27.6%. On D Purdue did not play well allowing Minnesota to shoot 24/50 for a FG% of 48%.
According to the Sagarin NCAA basketball ratings Purdue ranks 9th (88.61) and Siena ranks 50th (82.47).
Purdue is 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games, 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games as a favorite, and 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a winning record.
Purdue has an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 games, an Over record of 5-1 in their last 6 non-conference games, and an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 games as a favorite.
Siena is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a winning record and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
Siena has an Under record of 7-0 in their last 7 games and an Over record of 7-2 in their last 9 games as an underdog.
Jason’s Pick: Purdue will count on their guard play to win this game, as in the Big 10 semifinals they started 4 guards and will likely do so in this game. Siena is a much lower seed and comes from a much smaller conference, but they actually match up well with the Boilermakers with their solid frontcourt and this will be the key in the game. Siena will come out and play well in the paint and beat the Boilermakers. Take the Saints and the points in this game.