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Michigan at Purdue: Time, TV, Odds, Streaming, How to Watch

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When Purdue and Michigan face off on Saturday they will be nearly mirror images.

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue and Michigan enter this game on Saturday in almost the exact same position. Both teams have two bad home losses that are damaging their resumes, but they also have a couple of decent wins that are saving them. Both teams won close home games to open Big Ten play and need a solid run in the conference to have any chance at the NCAAs. In a way, this could be considered an elimination game of sorts. Since the teams only play once the victor would have a major leg up on Selection Sunday, while the loser has to make up ground somewhere else in the conference.

This is an important game for Purdue. Starting 2-0 in the conference would be huge if we are going to go 12-6 as needed. We would also dispose of some direct competition for an NCAA bid and Big Ten Tournament seeding. This is a very winnable game and we need to see if Purdue can sustain the momentum it earned on Wednesday in beating Minnesota.

Opponent:

Michigan Wolverines

Location:

Ann Arbor, MI

Date:

1/3/2015

Venue:

MackeyArena (14,846)

TV:

BTN

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

No line yet

Tickets:

As low as $19.95 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

2:15pm

KenPom Ranking:

76 of 351

RPI:

122

Blog Representation:

UM Hoops, Maize N' Brew

2014-15 Record:

7-5, 1-0

All-time series

Purdue leads 83-66

Last Purdue win:

2/25/2012 at Michigan 75-61

Last Michigan Win:

2/26/2014 at Purdue 77-76 in OT

2013-14 Record:

28-9, 15-3 (Big Ten Regular Season Champs)

Last NCAA appearance:

2014, Best result: 1989 NCAA Champions

Coach:

James Beilein (158-97 in 8th season at Michigan, 451-272 overall)

This is a far different Michigan team than the ones that made deep runs in March the last two seasons. Much of the experience that they relied on to play so well and win the Big Ten last season is gone to the NBA. In its place is a much younger team that is still learning how to win.

They are very similar to Purdue in their youth. They have no seniors on their roster, while Purdue only has graduate transfer Jon Octeus and walk-on Neal Beshears (who hasn't played at all). They have some talented freshmen, but they are still just that: freshmen. Early on it looked like Michigan was going to be fine. They defeated Oregon at the Barclay's Center before losing to Villanova in a good loss. They also beat Syracuse in the ACC/B1G challenge for another good win. These two wins are roughly equal to us beating BYU and NC State. They then went into a tailspin, losing at home to NJIT (our North Florida) and Eastern Michigan (our Gardner-Webb in that they are at least doing well in the RPI). Losses to Arizona and SMU are almost equal to our losses to Notre Dame and Vanderbilt.

On Tuesday they survived overtime to beat Illinois, but the Illini probably win if they do anything on their final play of regulation as opposed to running the clock down and trying a one-on-one contested jumper. Like us beating Minnesota, does that completely turn them around? For both teams the Big Ten opener could be like pushing the reset button. It could get both teams finally playing to their full potential.

Michigan is led by a pair of big, talented perimeter players in Caris LaVert and Zak Irvin. I saw Irvin play a couple of times in high school as a teammate of Gary Harris and I honestly felt that Irvin was the better player each time. The 2013 Mr. Basketball in Indiana is one that got away and he is averaging over 15 points per game along with LaVert. Like most Beilein teams, this Michigan team lives and dies by shooting the three. Both LaVert and Irvin are shooting better than 35% from long range. Irvin already has over 100 attempts in 13 games.

Purdue is going to have to show that its improved perimeter defense from the second half against Minnesota is now the norm as opposed to a one-time exception. Michigan shoots more than 24 threes per game as a team, so it is no secret they are going to bomb away from deep. They also don't have anyone even close to the size of A.J. Hammons or Isaac Haas. It should be a simple as defend the perimeter with the other four guys and let the Haas/Hammons combo protect the rim.

As we know, however, things are rarely simple with this team. Along with Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan has three guards averaging in double figures who can do a little bit of everything. They are struggling to score points, however (177th in the nation) and they are a pretty lousy rebounding team (276th in the nation), so Purdue's size advantage should be even more pronounced.

The Boilers have got to maintain their effort that they showed in the second half against Minnesota. We have got to be nasty on the perimeter and we have got to rebound against a team that is an even worse rebounding team than Minnesota. Michigan is struggling to shoot the ball (only 42.6% as a team from the field), so the Boilers need to rebound. We have to keep them at one shot per possession and not let them go off from three.

As I said going into the Minnesota game, it is all about effort. If the motivated Purdue of the final eight minutes against the Gophers shows up we're in very good shape. If the flat Purdue from Gardner Webb shows up Michigan will have itself a 2-0 start in Big Ten play.