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Zach Edey is going to be the most fascinating player to watch in March Madness 2023 — not only because he’s the overwhelming favorite to win AP Player of the Year, but also because the colossal center makes other college basketball players look like Muggsy Bogues.

The Purdue big man stands at a whopping 7-foot-4 and weighs in at 305 pounds, and he honestly looks bigger than that when he’s on the court. Despite his seemingly unmatched size, though, Edey actually isn’t the tallest player in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. In fact, he’s not even the tallest player in the East region!

We might just see the two giants of March Madness face off in the Sweet 16.

Zach Edey will be a dominant force in the NCAA Tournament

Zach Edey calls for the ball during the Big Ten Championship.
Zach Edey of the Purdue Boilermakers battles for position with Michael Henn of the Penn State Nittany Lions during the Big Ten Basketball Tournament Championship | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

For most of the 2022-23 season, Zach Edey has been the most unstoppable force in college basketball. The Purdue center averaged 22.3 points per game to rank No. 1 among Power 5 conference players, and he grabbed 12.8 rebounds per game to rank No. 2 in the country behind Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.

It’s nearly impossible to slow Edey down strictly because of his size. The junior is listed at 7-foot-4 and 305 pounds on Purdue’s official website, which is bigger than a majority of NBA players.

Edey has always been the biggest player on the court in college, but his skill didn’t fully click until this year. The Big Ten Player of the Year has become an efficient scorer and rebounder inside with light enough feet to make post moves and guard shorter players on the perimeter. His development is the main reason why Purdue won the Big Ten and earned the No. 1 seed in the East region for the NCAA Tournament.

Edey hasn’t met a formidable foe all season, but that could change in March Madness.

Zach Edey shockingly isn’t the tallest player in March Madness

It’s hard to imagine a bigger player than Edey in all of college basketball, but there’s actually one waiting in the 5-12 matchup lower in Purdue’s East region.

Say hello to Connor Vanover — the lanky center from Oral Roberts who’s listed at 7-foot-5 and 227 pounds. You might remember Vanover from his time in the Power 5, where he played for California in 2018-19 and Arkansas from 2020-2022. The center transferred to Oral Roberts last summer and is playing the best season of his lengthy college career.

The Golden Eagles will play 5-seed Duke in the Round of 64, and if they can pull off the upset, they’ll get the winner of Tennessee and Louisiana-Lafayette in the 4-13 matchup. Two straight wins and Oral Roberts will head to the Sweet 16, where Purdue will likely be waiting.

Let’s all say a quick prayer to the bracket gods, because we need 7-foot-4 Zach Edey against 7-foot-5 Connor Vanover in the Sweet 16.


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