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

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Purdue's first game against Rutgers in 30 years is an important one.

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

We're up against it now. With seven games left in the regular season there is almost no margin for error is Purdue is going to return to the NCAA Tournament. It probably has to win both Rutgers games along with the home games against Nebraska and Illinois to have any chance. Getting all of those four, plus one of the other three games at Indiana, Michigan State, or Ohio State would be pretty solid, and anymore than that likely has Purdue as a lock before the Big Ten Tournament.

It begins with this trip to Rutgers tonight, however. The Scarlet Knights, despite a stunning upset of league leading Wisconsin, has performed to form in their first season in the Big Ten. They are destined to battle Northwestern for last place the rest of the season, and any lose by Purdue to them would be devastating, perhaps more so than North Florida and Gardner-Webb. At least those teams have been at or near the top of their respective conferences all year.

I said before the season that getting Rutgers twice was a gift from the scheduling gods because it should be two Big Ten wins. Well, we learned how difficult that assumption was when Wisconsin lost there. Purdue can't make the same mistake.

Opponent:

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

From:

Piscataway, NJ

Date:

2/12/2015

Venue:

Louis Brown Athletic Center (8,000)

TV:

ESPNU

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

Purdue by 6

Tickets:

As low as $9 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

7pm

KenPom Ranking:

184 of 351

RPI:

125

Blog Representation:

On the Banks

2014-15 Record:

10-15, 2-10

All-time series

Purdue leads 3-1

Last Purdue win:

3/15/1982 at Purdue 98-54 (NIT)

Last Rutgers Win:

12/4/1975 at Madison Square Garden 81-73

2013-14 Record:

11-21, 5-13 American

Last NCAA appearance:

1991 (reached 1976 Final Four)

Coach:

Eddie Jordan (22-36 in 2nd year at Rutgers)

Purdue has not played Rutgers since 1982, hasn't lost to them since 1975, and hasn't played in Piscataway since 1955. Yes, this is a conference game. The last time the Scarlet Knights beat Purdue Eddie Jordan was playing for them. He is now their coach.

Their season this year, like many years since their last NCAA appearance almost 25 years ago, has been rough. They have losses to St. Peter's (the mighty Peacocks we played in the 2011 NCAA Tourney), St. Francis (PA) and close calls against Monmouth, New Hampshire, and St. Francis (NY) (one of five teams to have never made the NCAA Tourney despite being eligible every year of it). They have the most bizarre home record in the Big Ten in that they gave last place Northwestern their lone conference win and first place Wisconsin their lone conference loss. They also beat Vanderbilt out of conference, which we were unable to do.

We should be extremely concerned if they win this game because our defense has been greatly improved of late and Rutgers is one of the worst offensive teams in America. They are 338th out of 351 Division I teams at only 59 points per game. This includes a dreadful 26 points against Virginia, 47 against Northwestern, and a season high 80 in a loss to Minnesota. They are also 299th in assists and 325th in field goal percentage at 39.2%.

So how in the living hell did this team beat Wisconsin. Yes, the Badgers were without Frank Kaminsky, but that is no excuse. Wisconsin still should have thumped them. Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack, their two leading scorers, had 21 and 20 points, respectively, the Badgers shot 56% from the line, and, in general, Wisconsin played like a flaming bag of dog crap in the second half while Rutgers scored 44 second half points. Rutgers played out of its mind for 20 minutes and pulled off their only win ever over a top 5 team.

Rutgers has not won since, dropping eight in a row before tonight. Mack and Jack are both far and away their best players with Bishop Daniels as the No. 3 scorer at 8.2 ppg. They shoot a dismal 29% from three as a team, so if they are hitting then you know our defense is faltering. Trying to defend A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas will be Shaquille Doorson, who at 6'10" only averages 9.7 minutes and 1.5 points per game. Kadeem Jack is 6'9", but the Hammons/Haas duo should have a huge advantage and be able to do what it wants in the post.

To be frank, losing this game would be brutally ugly, but I don't want to be overconfident. This team did find a way to knock off Wisconsin. I also know we're still capable of stretches of some truly ugly basketball like at Minnesota in the second half last Saturday. We let that game slip away and we still have had some past moments this year where teams we should have dominated slipped past us to win. We cannot take anything for granted.

It once again comes down to Good Purdue/Bad Purdue. The good Purdue we saw in our recent winning streak wins this game with no trouble. The bad Purdue that reared its ugly head Saturday afternoon struggles mightily or even loses this game. It is that simple.