- The North Texas Mean Green (17-9, 9-5 C-USA) play the Purdue Boilermakers (18-9, 13-6 Big Ten) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 19th (7:25pm ET)
- Both teams are ranked inside KenPom’s top 50 defenses, which could lead to a low scoring game
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
Lucas Oil Stadium Equality in Indianapolis, Indiana will be the site when the North Texas Mean Green meet the Purdue Boilermakers Friday night on TNT.
These two teams have never played each other in basketball. The Purdue Boilermakers are favored by 7.5 points in this matchup.
North Texas vs Purdue Odds
|North Texas Mean Green||+7.5 (-116)||+260||O 126.5 (-110)|
|Purdue Boilermakers||-7.5 (-106)||-320||U 126.5 (-110)|
Odds as of March 17th at DraftKings
North Texas got into this game by beating Western Kentucky 61-57 in the Conference USA Tournament Final. The run was improbable as the Mean Green lost three straight games to finish the regular season. It took overtime for ninth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to take out Purdue 87-78 in the Boilermakers last game on March 12th.
North Texas Plays Defense
The North Texas Mean Green play a very slow-paced tempo that uses every second of the shot clock. Only seven teams in the country see fewer possessions per 40 minutes (adjusted for opponent) than the Mean Green. This style leads to low scoring games but make no mistake, their 42nd ranked defense has something to do with it too. Their defense showed up in their last game against Western Kentucky.
THE @MeanGreenMBB ARE IN THE MADNESS!!
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) March 14, 2021
North Texas actually almost choked this one away, as they blew an eleven-point halftime lead. They looked to have tired legs as they only scored 14 points in the second half which allowed the Hilltoppers to creep back into the game. Still, defense ruled the day and the game went under the posted total of 124.5 even though it went to overtime. Javion Hamlet starred in this one for the Mean Green dropping in 20 of North Texas’ 61 points.
Purdue Plays Defense Too
The Purdue Boilermakers played the 11th toughest schedule in the country according to KenPom. It makes perfect sense as they play in the Big Ten which was incredibly strong all season. They had the 111th best defense in terms of efficiency but when adjusted for opponent – they ranked 23rd in the country. That defense helped take them to overtime with the Ohio State Buckeyes last time they were in action.
Fought, but not our day today.
Let's rest up and get ready for next week. pic.twitter.com/3sU7NGUtyh
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) March 12, 2021
It’s debatable, but some say the Buckeyes have the best offense in the country. They came out and almost dropped 50 on Purdue in the first half but the Boilermakers didn’t panic. Purdue buckled down defensively after halftime holding Ohio State to just 23 second half points. They erased an 18-point halftime deficit to take the game into overtime where they ultimately came up short.
Best Betting Angle
The North Texas Mean Green play some of the slowest basketball on the planet. As mentioned, they just played an overtime game that didn’t even go over the total. In their two game before that they failed to break 120 points. In one of those games, they didn’t even hit the century mark.
As slow as North Texas likes to play, Purdue likes to take their time just as much. They currently rank 274th in the country in pace with only 66.5 possessions per 40 minutes. Both of these teams take pride in defense and when adjusted for opponent, both squads come in as top 50 units.
Given the pace and individual matchups, this seems like a game where the winner will score in the low 60s making it hard to see the game going over the posted total. The safe money is on the under.
- The pick: Under 126.5 (-110)