The Vintage of the Big Man Zach Edey vs Donavan Clingan going for all the marbles.

Tonight’s matchup of UConn and Purdue centers of Zach Edey going against Donavan Clingan will be the key factor of their position for the first time in 40 years. The last time we saw an intriguing matchup when Patrick Ewing Georgetown Hoyas went up against Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Cougars. The Hoyas won that battle of the big men by winning 84 to 75 in 1984.

Tonight we are seeing another epic classic of Edey vs Clingan going against each other. Not only we seeing two of the best centers in college basketball, but we are seeing two best teams in college basketball this season. Both Purdue and Connecticut have been ranked one in the regular season and the top two overall seeds in this year’s NCAA tournament. 

Clingan the 7-foot-2 sophomore is averaging 16.2 points, 9 rebounds, and 3.6 blocked shots per game in this year’s NCAA tournament. He has help lead UConn to a 36-3 record in which is one win from becoming the first school to repeat as national champion since Florida in 2006-07.

He is extremely efficient near the rim and finishes very well through contact. Clingan utilizes his frame to take advantage of smaller defenders in the paint. He has continue to build out a more smooth game. He’s able to finish with power, but also has great touch for his size.

Edey has helped lead Purdue to 34-4 record in which he had a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds in the win over NC State on Saturday. The 7-foot-4 center is 28 points and 15.4 rebounds  in the five games. 

Edey will come out in the paint and is smothering around the rim on both ends of the floor. It goes to show why he’s an old-school center who prefers playing with his back to the basket on offense and under, or around the basket on defense.

Even so with the centers performing well, it been the help of their guard play in which both teams have contributed. Both teams can score; Purdue has been terrific on the outside, but UConn’s presence is in the paint. 

Can Edey shut down Clingan? He was able to stop DJ Burns from NC State Saturday. It will be tough to shut down Clingan. Will Purdue guard play feed Edey the ball. Will Clingan continue to dominate the paint and get Edey in the possibility of foul trouble? It will be interesting in how this game will play out. 

Credit – AP

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