2018 NCAA Tournament East Region Preview: Does CSU Fullerton have a chance?

Cal State Fullerton Titans vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Date: March 16, 2018

Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

Time: 12:40 PM ET

TV: TruTV

The Titans enter with a 20-win season, and while that was with a dominating win over UCI, Fullerton has looked out of their league many times this season.  They had no season defining win with many questionable losses (Utah Valley? UCR???), and outside of Kyle Allman, Khalil Ahmad and Jackson Rowe, none of the other Titans have statistics that stand out.  So how will Fullerton weather the storm?

The Titans will rise and fall with Kyle Allman: the junior from Brooklyn has averaged 19.3 PPG, nearly a full 10 points average higher than last season, leading the Big West.  Behind him, Ahmad has improved immensely in points as well and Rowe’s aggressiveness in the paint has led him to become a boards machine.  On defense, the Titans struggled immensely, giving up 70 PPG, the 3rd worst in the Big West.  To put this in comparison: Cal State Fullerton are in the top 3rd nationally (111th) in opponents PPG, yet since the rest of the conference had better defense, they ended up losing plenty of games by 10 points or less.

Purdue has a couple questionable losses, but nothing that keeps them from being a questionable No. 2 seed.  The Boilermakers spread the ball around well, play good-to-great defense and seem to have great morale among the team.  Unless you’re being extremely nit-picky (and we’re not), there’s no reason to see Purdue not make the Elite Eight.  Which if we’re being honest, totally sucks because we enjoy the full-on schadenfreude of a 15-seed beating a 2-seed.

Prediction:

An Inter-war German Play in One Act

*Enter Titans Fan*

Titans Fan turns on TV.  They see blood seeping down the screen with machinery sounds and screams.

Titans Fan: “Well baseball season sucks this year, so I guess we’ll watch the tournament.”

*switches to TruTV*

“Purdue is up by 20 in the first half?  Well it’s a long season, and it won’t matter until conference play.”

*switches channel back to dystopian horror that is Fullerton losing to a void of nothingness*

FIN

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