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Gonzaga Basketball: 3 keys for Sweet 16 matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers

Gonzaga is in the Sweet 16 for a record 9 straight years. This season they get a rematch against one of the betting favorites for the National Championship the Purdue Boilermakers

Mar 23, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nolan Hickman (11) and Gonzaga
Mar 23, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nolan Hickman (11) and Gonzaga / Gabriel Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament and that means that the bracketing rules present in the first round are out the window. That means that there are going to be some rematches of games early in the season. There already was one in the second round when Houston and Texas A&M played. There is going to be another one in the Sweet 16 when Gonzaga meets Purdue for the second time this season.

The first time they met was in the Maui Invitational. That game ended in a 10-point Purdue win but Gonzaga had a lead at halftime and then the game turned. The Bulldogs and the Boilermakers are both playing their best basketball of the season and this game has the makings of one of the best games of the second weekend.  Gonzaga does have the roster to give Purdue some issues, but will they be able to exploit some of the matchups to win the game?

Gonzaga is heading to their record 9th sweet 16 in a row, in a year the Bulldogs were supposed to be down. It was a year that didn’t look like it was going to end in a tournament, but Gonzaga has turned it around and are once again a legitimate title contender. Purdue headed into the tournament as one of the betting favorites for the National Title and are motivated to show that last year’s early loss was an outlier.

Gonzaga does have a team that can beat Purdue, but it is going to take a complete team effort. How can they beat the juggernaut Purdue this year?