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Purdue at Wisconsin: Preview, TV, Time, Odds, Streaming, How to Watch

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Purdue faces a very difficult task tonight in Madison.

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Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Purdue has two pretty bad home losses on its resume with North Florida and Gardner Webb (who got drilled by UNC-Asheville over the weekend), but one way to get rid of said losses is to spring a nice road upset. If the Boilermakers win tonight in Madison it would be a tremendous victory not just for this season, but the program in general. Wisconsin went to the Final Four last season, is the favorite to win the Big Ten this season, and could easily return to the Final Four in March. They are also a damn good team at home.

As I mentioned yesterday, however, Purdue plays strangely well in Madison. Two years ago we went up there and ruined their senior day. Who can also forget February 9, 2008, when the Badgers led the Big Ten with only one loss (to us in Mackey) and the Baby Boilers went up and sprung a 72-67 upset.

It has happened before. Can we do it again?

Opponent:

Wisconsin Badgers

Location:

Madison, WI

Date:

1/7/2015

Venue:

Kohl Center (17,230)

TV:

BTN

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

Wisconsin by 16.5

Tickets:

As low as $16.99 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

7pm

KenPom Ranking:

4 of 351

RPI:

8

Blog Representation:

Bucky's 5th Quarter

2014-15 Record:

14-1, 2-0

All-time series

Purdue leads 105.67

Last Purdue win:

3/3/2013 at Wisconsin 69-56

Last Wisconsin Win:

3/5/2014 at Wisconsin 76-70

2013-14 Record:

30-8, 12-6 (Made Final Four)

Last NCAA appearance:

2014 (1941 NCAA Champion)

Coach:

Bo Ryan (718-225, 335-122 in 14th season at Wisconsin)

The Badgers are the most consistent team in the Big Ten over the past several years. Before 1994 they had only made the NCAA Tournament twice: in 1941 and 1947. They then went in 1994, 1997, and every season since 1999 now. They simply win, a lot, under Bo Ryan, as his teams have never missed the NCAA Tournament and they have never finished lower than 4th in the league.

Amazingly, Bo Ryan has a losing record against Matt Painter. Painter teams have won three times in Madison, and the Badgers overall have only won at Mackey Arena in 2012, 2014, 2005, and 1972.

This game is not in Mackey, however. It is at the Kohl Center, where Purdue has never had a double-digit loss under coach Painter. The Badgers are a 16.5 point favorite and rightfully so. They are ranked fourth in the nation, have lost to one of the three remaining undefeated teams in the country, and they are probably the Big Ten's best team by a lot. Aside from the Duke game they have been crushing skulls. Only Georgetown in the Battle 4 Atlantis managed to play them within 10 points aside from Duke.

This is your typical Bo Ryan team. They shoot the ball well (49.5%), and play nasty defense. Unlike many Bo Ryan teams they score well too at 75 points per game. It all revolves around Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky, who are two of the best big men in all of college basketball. Kaminsky is playing like the Big Ten Player of the Year at 16.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. For good measure he can step out and hit the three at 38% too.

Dekker is also dangerous from outside and he is averaging 12.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. Nigel Hayes, a 6'7" forward, also creates mismatches with 12.4 points and 7 rebounds per game. All that this team is missing is the stereotypical hulking white forward with a Polish name that the Badgers always seem to find. Wait, is Kaminsky a Polish name?

Those three do the bulk of the scoring, while Josh Gasser has been a great three-point shooter as well. They also still have Traevon Jackson as a ridiculously talented point guard running the show. We can expect Duje Dukan and Bronson Koenig to play, and everyone in the regular rotation shoots the three better than 30%.

This is a matchup nightmare for us. All of their regulars can shoot the three and we cannot defend the perimeter to save our lives. Kaminsky doesn't mind playing on the perimeter, so Vince Edwards will likely head out to take him on. They have two guys they can go to if they need a basket at a key juncture and we don't really have a "Red Button" guy.

So how does Purdue win this? Well, we're going to have to have four guys playing tight perimeter defense. They need to hassle and challenge shots while the A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas combo defends the basket. Hammons did a respectable job the last two years defending the basket in Madison, so that performance needs to be repeated.

Honestly, I am more worried about our offensive game. The more I think about it, the more I realize that we beat Michigan mostly because they played a very poor second half. Despite their poor shooting we didn't exactly light things up offensively. They were still within half a dozen points with about five minutes left. Wisconsin is far, far better defensively.

We're going to need a solid game from Edwards on both ends of the floor and that is asking a lot of the freshman. When he is doing well offensively it opens up so many things. Unfortunately, Wisconsin is one of the few teams that can defend Hammons/Haas one-on-one and still have a big guy available to handle Edwards. It's going to be hard to get him going, which means it will be difficult to get Kendall Stephens going.

As much as beating Wisconsin would help, I don't see it happening tonight. This team is just too good for us, but I hope I am wrong and we have a surprise waiting.