NCAA Tournament Predictions: Midwest 7. Saint Mary’s vs. 10 Purdue

By: Kels Dayton

 Saint Mary’s (27-5, 14-2)-The Gaels went wire-to-wire in the WCC and came away as Tournament champions, defeating Gonzaga in the conference championship game. This St. Mary’s team isn’t as talented as the one that stunned No.2 Villanova and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2010, but it does boast an excellent backcourt, led by 6-4 guard Matthew Dellavedova.

Matthew Dellavedova (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Dellavedova, an Australian import, averaged 15.4 points and 6.4 assists per game on his way to becoming the likely WCC Player of the Year this season. He shares the load with senior forward Rob Jones, who was a key member of the San Diego team that upset Connecticut in the 2009 NCAA Tournament (Jones was a sophomore that season).

St. Mary’s will kill you with a penetrate-and-kick game, and is deadly from three-point range.

This isn’t a juggernaut defensive team, but they are as efficient as they come on offense and could pose a real threat to Kansas in round 2.


13th True shooting percentage (57.9)

8th Points-per-possesion (1.19)

11th Assist-to-turnover ratio (1.37)

Team stats courtesy


 10 Purdue (21-12, 10-8 Big Ten)- The Boilermakers are led by Robbie Hummel (16.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg), who after a long, injury-plagued career is finally getting one last shot at NCAA Tournament glory. Hummel is a deadly shooter and an adept rebounder. Senior guard Lewis Jackson (10.3 ppg, 4.3 apg) adds even more experience to a wily lineup.

Guard Lewis Jackson (AP Photo)

Forward D.J. Byrd has emerged as a legitimate scoring threat for the Boilers, putting up 20 points in Purdue’s Big Ten tournament loss to Ohio State.

This isn’t the most talented of teams, but it is a gutsy, senior-laden group that is determined to make a name for itself. It’s hard to ignore the fact that Purdue went 10-8 in quite possibly the best conference in the nation and defeated fellow tournament teams Michigan, Temple and Iona.


6th Year of eligibility for leading-scorer Robbie Hummel

44th RPI

25th Defensive Efficiency Rating

Team stats courtesy



PREDICTION: Saint Mary’s 


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