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3/18 Big Ten Preview: Purdue and Michigan State Soldier on.

Can the Spartans and Boilermakers avoid losses to double-digit seeds.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Both Big Ten teams playing today are moving on from some forgettable tournament issues they have facing them. Purdue is obviously down a player with senior Isaac Haas fracturing his elbow in their opening game. Haas did practice on Saturday, but it is unknown if he will suit up. As for Michigan State, they narrowly avoided being upset by Bucknell in their first game winning by only four points.

Today is a new day for both teams though. Despite the injury to Haas, Purdue coasted by Cal State Fullerton in their game. Their momentum on the floor should not be terribly effected as they still have fabulous players outside of Haas. The Spartans seems to be the kings of regrouping after tight wins and losses. So, I am not terribly worried about Tom Izzo’s team quite yet. However, they do face a challenge today.

Game of the Day

#2 Purdue Boilermakers vs #10 Butler Bulldogs

  • Time/TV: 12:10 PM ET - CBS
  • Spread: Purdue (-3)

The storyline of Isaac Haas going down is the biggest one for Purdue fans right now. However, it seems that Haas may possibly suit up for this game against Butler. He practiced with the team on Saturday, sporting a brace on his fractured elbow. Matt Painter said he obviously wants to play in the game, but he will see how he feels after warm-ups tomorrow. You do not need me to tell you how big of a moral boost it would be for Haas to play today. I mean, the guy has a fractured elbow and he still might play.

Haas to Butler right now.

Outside of that, the Boilermakers have to be pleased with the result against Cal State Fullerton. They were dominant from the beginning and shot the ball efficiently as well. Perhaps the most important thing was their 17 takeaways which obviously swung the game in their favor.

They will now meet up with a Bulldog team that handily defeated Arkansas in their first game even though they were the lower seed. How Purdue defends Kelan Martin will be a huge key to them gaining the advantage in this game. Martin scored 27 points against the Razorbacks and also had nine rebounds. Even if Isaac Haas plays, he will not be at full strength which takes away some interior prowess for the Boilermakers.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Purdue

The Rest

#3 Michigan State Spartans vs #11 Syracuse Orange

  • Time/TV: 2:40 PM ET - CBS
  • Spread: Michigan State (-8)

These two teams seem to be the masters of underperforming in the regular season, but they end up being great in the postseason. Syracuse has done it a few times, making the Final Four a few years back as a double-digit seed. The same may be the case for the Orange this season after they took care of Arizona State and TCU in their first two games. On the other hand, Michigan State looked to be on upset watch against Bucknell on Friday.

It was Miles Bridges who stole the show for the Spartans, scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the game. However, it was Michigan State’s lack of three-point venom that kept the Bison in that game. Their 29 percent mark from the long range was paltry compared to Bucknell’s 55 percent. Lucky for the Spartans, Syracuse shot a terrible 21 percent from three against TCU. If Michigan State can find their stroke, it could end quickly.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Syracuse