Edey: Underdog Purdue has nothing to lose

  • Pete Thamel, ESPNApr 7, 2024, 05:02 PM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz.– No. 1 seed Purdue spent 5 weeks as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press survey this season and never dipped lower than No. 4. Just twice throughout the routine season they were underdogs getting in a game.But the Boilermakers head into Monday night’s men’s title game as 6.5-point underdogs to No. 1 total seed UConn, something star center Zach Edey states gives his group an opportunity to play loose.

“Everyone takes a look at us as the underdog,” Edey stated. “So we don’t have anything to lose.”

Purdue is going after the first national title in school history while likewise trying to the complete the full NCAA tournament psychological gauntlet– responding to a first-round loss to a No. 16 seed in 2015 with a championship.Part of the secret to Purdue’s success in this NCAA competition, according to Edey, has been its intentionality in determining the game to opponents. The Boilermakers have actually won their five NCAA tournament games by an average of 19.6 points.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated”We’re the hunters all tournament,”Edey said.”We

haven’t sat back and let teams attack us. We have actually been the assailants most of the games.” They’ll deal with a UConn group that hasn’t flinched the couple of times it has been challenged

in this tournament, as the Huskies have actually won their past 5 games by approximately 25 points. UConn is 40 minutes from ending up being the very first back-to-back NCAA title winner given that 2007, and that prospective storyline has actually shown to be the dominant one in this competition. “This is the game where no one really anticipates much from us, and we’re going to bring out that energy,” Edey stated.”We believe in ourselves. We know what type of team we are. We know what type of guys we have. All the pressure is on them, so we’re simply going to come out and play loose. “The 7-foot-4 Edey will match up against 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan, the star UConn center. Both are projected as lotto picks in the upcoming NBA draft and there’s a novelty to a big-man matchup in an age of basketball specified by spacing the floor and shooting.Edey was asked about Clingan over and over Sunday, and he was considerate and complimentary. However he stressed that he’s accustomed to playing against huge men from his four years playing in the Big 10.” He’s a great player, it’s going to be a great match,”Edey said.” Undoubtedly we’re going to offer him the respect that he’s earned throughout the whole year, but I’ve played against huge males before. I’ve played in the Big Ten every year, there’s three or 4 7-footers in the Big 10. Obviously, they aren’t Donovan Clingan. But it’s not like I’m not utilized to having that. “That comment underscored the quiet self-confidence that Purdue will bring into this matchup. Edey duplicated several times that UConn’s status as a favorite was just the understanding on the outside, not how the Purdue program felt.”I do not think we’re ever going to take a look at ourselves as inferior to another group before the game,”Edey said.

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