Arizona and Purdue will clash on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis where one of the deepest and most talented teams takes on the Iron Giant in a battle for the top spot on the AP Poll.
TV schedule: Saturday, December 16th, 4:30 pm ET, Peacock
Arena: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
The Purdue Boilermakers take on the Arizona Wildcats in what should be the best game of the Saturday slate. The game takes place in Indianapolis, so Purdue should get a slight bump from the crowd. Will the Wildcats be able to corral Edey? How will Purdue's guards be able to handle one of the best backcourts in the nation? Let's take a look at what should be one of the most exciting non-conference games of the year.
Purdue goes as Edey goes, and he goes, A LOT. He is off to a ridiculous start averaging 25 and 11 while being a force on the defensive end. Their guards have also stepped their game up in the second season (Smith and Loyer), while the addition of Lance Jones has really helped round out this roster. After losing to Northwester, Purdue has won two in a row after they dismantled Iowa and outlasted Alabama. They have been off since then, so they should have fresh legs in what may turn out to be a track meet.
Arizona is off to a rock-solid 8-0 start, with key wins over Duke and Michigan State, while adding an absolute thrashing over Wisconsin last weekend. They're looking to add another win against a Big Ten opponent, but this may be their toughest test to date. While the Wildcats have some flashy names in Caleb Love and Oumar Ballo, along with extremely talented guards in Kylan Boswell and Pelle Larsson, their most important player may be Keshad Johnson. Johnson is averaging 12.6ppg and 7rpg, but what the stat sheet doesn't show is tenacity and toughness. He will be key to helping Ballo down low with Edey, and he adds a difficult wrinkle for opposing teams to guard on the offensive end.
This matchup could go either way as both teams are supremely talented and offer difficult matchups on each end of the floor. I am going to give the advantage to Arizona; they won't be able to stop Edey (nobody can), but the duo of Ballo and Johnson will certainly make him work hard the entire game. Along with that, I trust their guards to make more plays and hit more shots down the stretch. Either way, this should be a great game with two teams who may see each other again in Phoenix.
Prediction: Arizona: 82 Purdue: 78