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Gonzaga vs. Purdue NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: How to watch, odds and predictions for March Madness

No. 5 seed Gonzaga will face No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday in a game that will have plenty of intrigue.

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Gonzaga and Purdue are set to meet in the Sweet 16 in Detroit, Michigan. It is a matchup that brings together one of the nation's most dominant major conference programs over the past several seasons in the Boilermakers and the king of the mid-majors in the Bulldogs.

Mark Few and his Zags might not have had their typical regular season going just 24-6 and failing to win the West Coast Conference regular season or tournament championships. However, after their 89-68 dismantling of Kansas in round two, they have the look of a dangerous team.

On the other hand, Purdue lived up to preseason expectations by going 28-3 overall in the regular season and 17-3 in the Big Ten to finish first in the conference standings. Of course, with the Boilermakers, it is all about what happens in the NCAA Tournament, though, where they have struggled mightily under Matt Painter.

That makes this game intriguing as a Gonzaga program that usually rises to the occasion in the Big Dance looks to take down a Purdue program that has earned the reputation as a March Madness pretender. Here's what you need to know to get ready for this interesting matchup.

How to watch Gonzaga vs. Purdue in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Date: March 29, 2024
Time: 7:39 PM ET
Channel: TBS
Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live, fuboTV
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Evan Washburn

Gonzaga vs. Purdue NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 odds

Gonzaga vs. Purdue NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 prediction

Earlier this year, we got a preview of this matchup. In the Maui Invitational, back in November, Purdue took down the Zags 73-63.

That day, Purdue's star big man, Zach Edey, put up 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. He was 9-10 at the free throw line as the Bulldogs simply had no answer inside.

One interesting note from that game was that both of Gonzaga's starting forwards, 6-foot-9 Graham Ike and 6-foot-8 Anton Watson, picked up four fouls, many of which came as a result of trying to wrestle with the 7-foot-4 Purdue center.

Over the course of the season, teams evolve and changes are made. However, it is hard to see how Gonzaga can change it's biggest weakness when facing Purdue. Ike and Watson haven't grown since November so they will continue to struggle to check the presumptive National Player of the Year.

Even in the second-round blowout of Kansas, Gonzaga let 7-foot-2 Jayhawk center Hunter Dickinson score 15 points despite playing with an injured right shoulder. Thus, it is hard to imagine the Bulldogs having the ability to slow Edey.

6-foot-10 Gonzaga forward Ben Gregg didn't start in the first matchup between these teams, though. He did so against KU in the second round putting up 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds in a nice effort. The junior will likely have to do more than that to help his team prevail against Purdue.

Ultimately, the Boilermakers will have too much size with Edey and just enough playmaking from his supporting cast to move on. The Zags will put up a fight as they always do but a big Purdue crowd in Detroit and a big night from Edey will push the Boilermakers to the Elite 8.

Final score: Purdue: 80 - Gonzaga 70