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Purdue vs. Cincinnati - 3/19/15 NCAA Tournament Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Purdue Boilermakers (21-12) at Cincinnati Bearcats (22-11)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:10 pm (KFC Yum! Center)

The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats +2 -- Over/Under: 120 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The Purdue Boilermakers and Cincinnati Bearcats meet Thursday in the NCAA Tournament.

The Purdue Boilermakers were the fifth-best Big Ten team and has split its last six games. On the season, Purdue is averaging 70 points on 45.3 percent shooting and is allowing 64.5 points on 40.1 percent shooting. A.J. Hammons is averaging 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds while Rapheal Davis is averaging 10.9 points and 4.2 rebounds. Jon Octeus is dishing 2.7 assists and Vince Edwards is grabbing 4.7 rebounds. The Purdue Boilermakers have five players averaging at least 8.6 points, and they’re shooting 68.5 percent from the line and 33.5 percent from deep. Defensively, Purdue is allowing 35 percent shooting from deep and has given up 65 or less points in seven of its last 10 games.

Purdue vs. Cincinnati - 3/19/15 NCAA Tournament Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats were the fourth-best AAC team and has won five of its last six. On the season, Cincinnati is averaging 62.4 points on 45.3 percent shooting and is allowing 55.3 points on 39 percent shooting. Octavius Ellis is averaging 10 points and 7.3 rebounds while Troy Caupain is averaging 9.5 points and 3.5 assists. Farad Cobb is dishing 1.5 assists and Gary Clark is grabbing seven rebounds. The Cincinnati Bearcats have four players averaging at least 7.9 points, and they’re shooting 67.4 percent from the line and 33.3 percent from deep. Defensively, Cincy is allowing 32.9 percent shooting from deep and has given up 65 or less points in eight straight games.

The Boilermakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Bearcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.

This is one of the tougher games to pick, as Hammons is a player who could carry Purdue to a couple of wins by himself. However, I really like grind-it-out teams that simply find ways to win and play elite level defense. The Bearcats aren't going to backdown and will make it very tough for the Boilermakers to score, a team that already struggles from the outside. I like the Bearcats to win this game outright. 

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