clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Purdue At Northwestern: Time, TV, Odds, Streaming, How To Watch

New, 62 comments

IT'S A TRAP!!!!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As fun as Wednesday was, it means absolutely nothing if we lose Saturday night at Northwestern. We're not here to beat Indiana. That is always fun, but last year it was Purdue's last win as they completely fell apart afterward and did not win again the rest of the year. Just like last season, Purdue is on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament after playing the Hoosiers, but there is plenty of time to do something about it. This game marks the halfway point of the Big Ten season and a victory would move Purdue to 6-3, exactly half of what its Big Ten record needs to be to have a shot at the NCAAs.

Unfortunately, we're facing a Northwestern team that was the bane of our existence last season. On a day where an unspeakable tragedy occurred at Purdue the Boilers went to Evanston last year with a 13-5 overall record and a solid 3-2 Big Ten start. We were even on a three game winning streak. The Boilers lost in double overtime (inexplicably, and that loss started a 2-12 finish where Purdue only beat Minnesota in triple overtime and Indiana.

That was probably the turning point of the season, and the second loss to Northwestern, at home on Senior Day, was an insult that knocked Purdue into last place. Northwestern was not a good basketball team last year, and we lost to them. Twice.

Opponent:

Northwestern Wildcats

From:

Evanston, IL

Date:

1/31/2015

Venue:

Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)

TV:

ESPNU

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

Northwestern by 1.5

Tickets:

As low as $38 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

6pm

KenPom Ranking:

125 of 351

RPI:

142

Blog Representation:

InsideNU

2014-15 Record:

10-10, 1-6

All-time series

Purdue leads 123-46

Last Purdue win:

2/24/2013 at Purdue 74-43

Last Northwestern Win:

3/9/2014 at Purdue 74-65

2013-14 Record:

14-19, 6-12 Big Ten

Last NCAA appearance:

None

Coach:

Chris Collins (24-29 in second year at Northwestern and overall)

The Wildcats are slightly better in year two under Chris Collins, but this is not going to be the season where the NCAA drought ends. They started 5-0, but had close wins over Elon in overtime and North Florida (at least they beat North Florida). There were no non-conference wins of substance and they lost to Central Michigan (who is pretty good at 14-4).

They opened Big Ten play with a win at Rutgers (something Wisconsin couldn't do), but come in having lost six straight. That doesn't mean they are not dangerous. Far from it. They are in another stretch where the basketball gods are clearly showing their wrath. Their last five games:

  • overtime loss at Michigan State (they led by two with 19 seconds left in regulation).
  • Five point loss to Illinois at home
  • Two point loss at Michigan
  • Two point loss to Ohio State at home (they led by 11 early)
  • One point loss at Maryland (led by 11 at the last media timeout)

The last loss was especially cruel, because it was an epic collapse and the Terrapins led the game for a grand total of 10 seconds. This team can clearly play with anyone in the conference and they will upset someone before the year is out.

They are led by one-time Purdue target Bryant McIntosh, who is playing like one of the best freshmen in the Big Ten and showing why we were wise in going after him. With two Division teammates the last two years in Sean Sellers and Ryan Welage McIntosh won consecutive Class 3A state titles in Indiana for Greensburg. Greensburg was 77-3 the last three seasons with McIntosh running the show and I saw him in both state title wins. He was masterful in beating an athletic Bowman Academy team 89-76 last season and two years ago he showed his chops in a tense 73-70 overtime win over Fort Wayne Concordia. He averages 12.4 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 38% from three and 84% at the free throw line.

McIntosh is helped by a couple of solid juniors in Tre Demps (11.9 points per game) and Alex Olah (11.1 ppg, 7 rpg). Olah is interesting because he is a 7-footer that can draw A.J. Hammons away from the basket with his three-point shooting ability. Olah is only 7 of 23 from long range, but he is at least a threat. Demps, McIntosh, and JerShon Cobb all shoot the three quite a bit.

Northwestern's problem, and hopefully it is one that the improved Purdue defense can take advantage of, is that they are offensively limited. They score only 64.8 points per game and try to make up for it by playing stifling defense of their own. It doesn't always work, but they are still a work in progress.

What they do best is simply play hard, and that is why we should have every warning bell sounding right now. Purdue has knocked off two straight ranked teams and has a big home game next Wednesday against Ohio State. This is a trap game if I have ever seen one, and we're going to have to replicate the intensity shown Wednesday against Indiana or we will lose. Northwestern may not be good, but they will make us earn any victory for sure. Their recent results show that much. Purdue has to continue playing hard and continue to play patient. You can break them down, but they are not afraid of dragging you into a 50-58 Big Ten rock fight.