The road will come to an end for one team in the Sweet 16 when No. 4 Purdue and No. 1 Kansas meet to see which team will advance in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Led by senior Frank Mason III, the Jayhawks have rolled through the tournament thus far. They beat Michigan State in the second round by 20 points and cruised past UC-Davis in the first round for a 38-point victory.
Purdue faced a tough task getting through the first two rounds. The Boilermakers, led by sophomore Caleb Swanigan, are in their first Sweet 16 since the 2009-10 season. They pulled away from No. 13 Vermont late for a 10-point triumph. In the second round, they got past a feisty Iowa State team, who came back to take the lead late in the second half.
Here’s a look at everything that you need to know about the Sweet 16 matchup:
Kansas vs. Purdue, 2017 Sweet 16
Note: Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com.
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Start Time: 9:39 p.m. EST
TV Channel: CBS
Spread: (-5) Kansas
Tensions will be high and fans will be loud in this matchup in the Midwest between two teams that are also from the Midwest.
Kansas and Purdue last met in the NCAA Tournament in 2012 with the Jayhawks taking a close one, 63-60. Before that, it was in 1997 and 1994, with the Jayhawks taking the former and the Boilermakers taking the latter.
As a 5-point favorite in the game, the Jayhawks will ride the hot hand of Mason and fellow guard Devonte’ Graham yet again. Both helped lead the team to another Big 12 regular season title. But Purdue’s size does pose some matchup difficulties for Kansas, and Swanigan will look to take advantage of that in the paint.
The Boilermakers are playing the role of the underdog in the game, but Kansas shouldn’t treat them as such. Swanigan’s dominance this season has proven to be virtually un-guardable. When you add the mix of their guards, the Boilermakers are capable of beating just about any team in the country if their shots are falling. But if Swanigan is bodied up, Purdue may go away from the big man in favor of its front court. That won’t bode well for the Boilermakers.
Both teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally in field goal percentage, and it should be a shooter’s showcase in the game.
Regardless of the odds, this figures to be one of the best Sweet 16 matchups in the tournament.