Big 12 Previews

Texas vs. Purdue NCAA Basketball Preview and Prediction

Here is everything you need to know about the Texas Longhorns and the Purdue Boilermakers in our Texas vs. Purdue NCAA Tournament men’s basketball preview.

NCAA Tournament

East Region – Second Round

No. 6 Texas (22-11) vs. No. 3 Purdue (28-7), Sunday, Time and TV TBA

How They Got Here: Texas earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Purdue earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament Results: Texas: def. Virginia Tech, 83-71 (first round); Purdue: def. Yale, 78-56 (first round).

Winner gets: A berth in the Sweet 16 next week in Philadelphia.

Projected starting lineups

Texas: G Marcus Carr, G Andrew Jones, G Courtney Ramey, F Christian Bishop, F Timmy Allen.

Purdue: F Mason Gillis, G Eric Hunter Jr., C Zach Edey, G Jaden Ivey, G Sasha Stefanovic.


Player to watch

Texas G Andrew Jones: Andrew Jones, the holdover sixth-year guard, had a huge first half for Texas, as the Longhorns built a 34-32 lead against Virginia Tech. Jones finished the first half with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including five 3-pointers, the last of which came in the final seconds to give Texas, momentarily, the lead. Jones ended up with 21 points, the last of which came on a thunderous dunk late that basically put the game away. Jones is a threat from outside and inside, and he’s trying to put his best foot forward in what could be his last NCAA Tournament. Yes, he’s a senior. But he also has a COVID year to use.

Purdue F Jaden Ivey: The sophomore is the fourth All-American for Purdue in the last seven seasons. His awards are staggering. He’s a First-Team All-American (NABC), Second-Team All-American (AP, Sporting News), First-Team All-Big Ten (Media, Coaches, AP), First-Team NABC All-District, Big Ten All-Tournament team and a finalist for both the Wooden and West awards. He had 22 points, four rebounds and an assist against Yale. But he’s had bigger games this season. After the Yale game he’s averaging 17.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.


Key storylines

Texas: The Longhorns are making the most of their first NCAA Tournament run under head coach Chris Beard, ending their eight-year run without an NCAA Tournament victory. The Longhorns don’t have much trouble getting there —  they’re one of eight schools to reach the tournament in 20 of the last 23 tournaments. But winning has been another matter, and that’s why Texas paid Beard the big bucks to come to Austin from Texas Tech. Beard doesn’t lose in the first round, that’s for sure. He’s now 5-0 in the first round and 11-4 overall in the NCAA Tournament. All five of his starters hit double figures in the victory over Virginia Tech, so it looks like him questioning his team’s effort after the Big 12 Tournament, well, worked.

Purdue: Purdue started its 33rd NCAA Tournament in school history with a relatively easy win over Yale. This appearance keeps the Boilermakers in the Top 20 in the country in both appearances in tournament wins. The victory over Yale was No. 43.  Purdue is also making its seventh straight appearance in the Big Dance but is trying to get back the Final Four for the first time since 1980. Purdue spent the entire season in the AP Top 10 and is a Top 5 seed in the tourney for the fifth straight season. But, head coach Matt Painter can also be accused of under-performing in March. During this streak the Boilermakers have made the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight once, and while that’s difficult, the Boilermakers have aspirations of making it to the Final Four soon.


Fun Fact

Chris Beard’s first NCAA Tournament win as a head coach came in the 2016 Tournament when he was at Little Rock. He led the Trojans to a win over … Purdue.


Purdue 71, Texas 65. Texas has the better defense naturally. But Purdue, along with Jaden Ivey, has some serious height in seven-footer Zach Edey. How will Texas defend that? It will probably determine the outcome.  

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.


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