The 2018 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 is set.
The opening weekend provided immense drama and a lot of top-seeded teams (we’re looking at you, Virginia) lost in decisive fashion. Then, there’s Purdue.
The Boilermakers — a No. 2-seed in the East Region — are playing well going into the Sweet 16. Realistically, you have to be playing pretty well to be one of the final 16 teams left in the tournament.
One issue for the team is the health concern for 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas. It’s assumed that Haas is out for the remainder of the tournament.
With that — and the opening weekend — in mind, ESPN’s Myron Medcalf decided to reseed each of the 16 teams still playing for the national title.
Here’s what Medcalf said about the Boilermakers:
“Isaac Haas couldn’t play against Butler on Sunday because of a fractured elbow. But his absence did not stop the Boilermakers from beating a tough Butler team that had multiple looks down the stretch of a tight game.
“Vincent Edwards anchored the team in wins over Cal State Fullerton and Butler. The Boilermakers still boast the talent to keep pace offensively with most teams in the field. It’s the defense that is a magnified concern with Haas potentially sidelined the rest of the way.
“With the 7-foot-2 Haas in the paint, Purdue had one of the nation’s top-20 defenses inside the arc. With Haas on the bench, however, Butler made 60 percent of its 2-pointers. Matt Haarms, a 7-3 center, has the size and shot-blocking power to challenge shots around the rim. But Purdue is not the same squad without Haas.”
Purdue is scheduled to face Texas Tech at approximately 9:57 p.m. (30 minutes after the first game ends) on March 23. The game will be televised on TBS.