The Maui Invitational rolls on today with two massive games — two that we were all hoping we’d see. No. 7 Tennessee and No. 2 Purdue will hit the court in Honolulu at 8 p.m. ET, then No. 1 Kansas will take on No. 4 Marquette.
Tennessee rolled past Syracuse on Monday to advance, while Purdue came back to beat Gonzaga. The Volunteers and Boilermakers are no strangers to each other, facing off in that controversial 2019 Sweet 16 game, while also meeting back in 2017 in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Purdue is a 2.5 point favorite as of Tuesday morning, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Matt Painter once again has a top five team after convincing 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey to come back for another year. Last year’s Naismith Player of the Year is averaging over 20 points per game so far this season, shooting 57 percent from the floor. A matchup tonight with Jonas Aidoo will be key.
“Matt Painter, I mean, he’s a big time coach, you know,” Rick Barnes said on Monday. “Obviously got a great basketball player and (Zach) Edey’s development is really impressive. I mean, I go back and watch him where he started and where he is. And I think like all of us, we’ve tried to add through the portal that we hope will help us. And I said it coming in, these games are gonna help us all some way, somehow.”
Purdue is KenPom’s No. 1 overall team, while Tennessee checks in at No. 7.
A couple of things to watch here — Tennessee is shorthanded and that situation got worse on Monday. Freddie Dilione is not available for the tournament, and Tobe Awaka went down with an injury early against Syracuse a did not return. Dalton Knecht also missed time, but that appeared to just be a cramp.
Barnes did not address Awaka’s injury after the game. Tennessee’s depth in the post will be tested here, and true freshman JP Estrella might have to log some big minutes tonight.
How to watch Tennessee vs. Purdue
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Streaming: ESPN App, Watch ESPN