Wisconsin at Purdue: TV, Time, Odds, Preview, & More

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue gets a chance to bounce back in a big way with No. 9 Wisconsin coming to town.

After opening the season with 16 consecutive wins, Wisconsin comes into Mackey Arena Saturday evening trying to avoid it's fourth consecutive loss. The Badgers, once as high as No. 3 in nation, have plunged to No. 9, with yet another drop likely coming next week.

With that in mind, none of the Badgers three losses - at Indiana, vs. No. 21 Michigan and at Minnesota - are as bad as Purdue's most recent loss at Northwestern, where the Boilers shot less than 28 percent from the field before losing in double overtime.

This game is a battle of two teams trying to dig themselves out of the middle of the Big Ten pack, though the Boilermakers definitely have more to gain with a win (and, conversely, the Badgers more to lose with a loss). Historically, Matt Painter has tended to have Bo Ryan's number for whatever reason, getting wins over the Badgers even in down years (like...uh...last season).

Projected Starters

Purdue Boilermakers (13-6, 3-3)

Wisconsin Badgers (16-3, 3-3)

Terone Johnson - Sr.

Ben Brust - Sr.

Ronnie Johnson - So.

Traevon Jackson - Jr.

Rapheal Davis - So.

Sam Dekker - So.

Basil Smotherman - Fr.

John Gasser - Jr.

A.J. Hammons - So.

Frank Kaminsky - Jr.

Series with Purdue:

Purdue leads 105-65

Last Purdue win:

March 3, 2013 - 69-53 at Wisconsin

Last Wisconsin win:

Jan. 12, 2012 - 67-62 at Purdue

Odds:

Blog Representation:

Bucky's 5th Quarter

Location:

West Lafayette, IN

Best Postseason Result:

1940-41 National Champions

2012-13 record:

23-12 (NCAA Tournament 2nd Round)

Coach:

Bo Ryan (307-116 in 13th season at Wisconsin)

RPI:

15

Time:

5 p.m.

Streaming Video:

BTN2Go.com

TV:

Big Ten Network

Radio:

Purdue Radio Network

Streaming Audio:

TuneIn.com

Recently, Purdue has seemed to play to its opponent's level. In fact, Purdue has had just two games decided by more than 10 points since Dec. 1, and both of those were blowout wins. Purdue came within nine of then-No. 3 Ohio State on Dec. 31, yet needed a last second (literally) foul to beat Penn State, the worst team in the Big Ten. Tuesday's uninspiring offensive performance had many expecting Saturday's contest to be a blowout, but I expect the Boilers to follow the trend and play at Wisconsin's level in a competitive game. Call me an optimist, I guess.

One of the major keys to this game will be how Purdue defends Frank Kaminsky. The seven-footer from Wisconsin is a legitimate long-range threat, shooting 46 percent from deep. The highlight of his career so far is a 43 point performance in November against North Dakota, where he hit 6-of-6 from 3-point land.

A.J. Hammons should be able to overpower Kaminsky in the post, but I expect the Badger to be able to answer with Kaminsky's mobility at the other end. Purdue gave up a key basket late in the Northwestern game after the Wildcats ran repeated picks at the top of the key until Ronnie Johnson lost his man. This happened because the Purdue coaches have Hammons sagging off at the top of the key. Unlike the days of JaJuan Johnson, where ballhandlers could be forced to nearly half-court when they screened JJ's man, Hammons doesn't have the mobility to show on these screens. This is something I expect Bo Ryan to try to exploit repeatedly.

Sam Dekker is the Badgers' leading scorer and rebounder, though the Badgers have seven guys averaging between seven and 14 points per game.

This season, Wisconsin has shown an ability to be more than the traditional Bo Ryan slow it down, grind it out teams on offense. Wisconsin has shown an ability to be that, but at the same time they've also shown the ability to push the ball and run with teams. Prior to this three-game skid, the Badgers had looked to be one of the most versatile teams in the country.

From a Purdue perspective, the Boilers can not afford to have another offensive performance like they had Tuesday night at Northwestern. Shooting 28 percent from the field Saturday will result in not just a loss, but a blow-out. Purdue is going to need the better version of all of its players to show up for this game, not the version that loses to bad teams. If Tuesday proved anything, it's that Purdue's identity is that it is an inconsistent team.

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