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Michigan at Purdue: Preview, Odds, & How to Watch

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Purdue looks to get back on track when it hosts Michigan on Thursday.

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue fans, it is time to RELAX. I have scanned many of the comments here since Saturday's collapse at home and it seems panic has set in way too early. Yes, Saturday sucked. It always sucks to blow a 17 point halftime lead at home no matter who you are playing. When coupled with the Butler loss suddenly the sky is falling. I have seen people calling for Painter's head, saying we're doomed in March, saying we were overrated all along, saying it was a bad loss, etc.

Calm down, everyone.

There are certain facts that we know:

1. Butler and Iowa are both very good teams. They will be in the NCAA Tournament and they are far from damaging losses for Purdue's overall profile if the Boilers still finish strong.

2. There are still 16 regular season games and the Big Ten Tournament to work on things. Coach Painter has shown in the past that he can fix things when they are identified early, just as this. Remember: The 2009-10, probably his best team, lost three in a row at Wisconsin, Ohio State, and at Northwestern, then started crushing skulls.

3. Yes, Purdue has played pretty poorly in both losses. Against Butler it was awful and still had a chance to tie a ranked team with the ball inside of 30 seconds. Against Iowa it still recovered and was a defensive stop or two from being in the same position. Again, both Iowa and Butler are really good teams. If we were truly in crisis they would have blown out Purdue. Instead, the Boilers are about a 10 minute stretch in both games from being unbeaten.

4. Purdue still controls its destiny in the Big Ten race. Iowa, nor anyone else, is going undefeated through 18 games. In fact, 14-4 might still get you a share of the league.

5. There is still time to do something about it. The team itself has two options: see what needs to be fixed on film and work at fixing it or piss and moan about it. Judging by the fans, we have the pissing and moaning part covered. That gives the guys extra time to work on what needs to be worked on.

6. This is still a very talented team. Last year at this time we were lamenting four bad losses in non-conference play and wondering if Painter would be fired. By March we were praising him as a great coach again. It is a lot better to be in this position right now.

Tomorrow night represents a chance for Purdue to show it is going to be just fine. Purdue is going to be favored in its next five games and stands an excellent chance of being 6-1 in the league before a rematch in Iowa City. By tipoff the Boiler swill have had five days to sit and stew about Saturday's loss. I trust they will get things right.

And if I am wrong and Michigan wins, okay, then it might be time to panic.

Opponent

Michigan Wolverines

Location:

Ann Arbor, MI

Date:

1/7/2016

Venue:

Mackey Arena (14,846), West Lafayette, IN

TV:

ESPNU

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

Purdue by 7.5

Tickets:

As low as $18 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

7pm

KenPom Ranking:

23 of 351

RPI:

48

Blog Representation:

Maize N' Brew, MGoBlog, UMHoops

2015-16 Record:

12-3, 2-0 Big Ten

All-time series

Purdue leads 84-66

Last Purdue win:

64-51 at Purdue on 1/3/2015

Last Michigan Win:

77-76 (OT) at Purdue on 2/26/2014

2014-15 Record:

15-16, 8-10 Big Ten

Last NCAA appearance:

2014 (25 appearances) 1989 NCAA Champion

Coach:

John Beilein (656-388 all-time, 178-113 in 9th year at Michigan 6-7 vs. Purdue)

Michigan this season so far has been very good, but not great. The RPI and KenPom numbers are pretty solid with the best win coming against Texas in the Bahamas. The three losses have come against Connecticut, Xavier, and SMU, with SMU being a true road game. The Mustangs are one of the last undefeated teams in the country, so they are good even if they are ineligible for the NCAA Tournament.

When you look at the schedule, however, they haven't really played anyone outside of those four games. Penn State is a top 100 win (they are 70th), but there are some real bad opponents our there like Northern Kentucky, Delaware State, Youngstown State, and Bryant. They beat Youngstown 105-46, while Purdue "only" won 95-64 against the Penguins.

As Drew stated in the Q&A earlier today, this is your typical Beilein team. They are going to shoot a ton of threes and hope to get hot. Through 15 games they have attempted 381 threes, so a little more than 25 per game. They are good at it, too. They are hitting an impressive 42.8% as a team, so Purdue's perimeter defense will definitely be tested.

Leading scorer Caris LeVert seems to be out, so they will definitely miss his 17.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. He leads the Wolverines in all three categories and is a legitimate First team all-B1G type of player, so that hurts. That leaves Duncan Robinson and Derrick Walton Jr. as the top scorers. Robinson averages 11.9 points per game and is hitting an impressive 56.5% from three. Walton is not much worse at 51.2%.

Those shooting numbers are just absurd. The Wolverines are going to need them, too, because 6'10" Mark Donnal represents the extent of their post presence. Ricky Doyle at 6'9" also plays down low, but both players are giving up a lot to Haas and Hammons. Donnal has been excellent in Big Ten play, scoring 26 at Illinois and 16 against Penn State, but he was scoreless against Youngstown. His two Big Ten games alone represent 42 of his 85 points on the season.

Purdue also needs to look out for Aubrey Dawkins, yet another solid three-point shooter at 46.7%. Overall Michigan is a very good shooting team. They are one of the few teams in college basketball shooting over 50% as a team from the floor. I haven't even mentioned the dangerous Zak Irvin, whose scoring is down over 5 points per game this year. He is still a player that can go for 25 on almost any given night.

Yes, it looks like Michigan will be without its best player, but they are still a solid team that can shoot you out of a game. They play a lot of players (11 guys have appeared in at least 12 games) and everyone can pass. They have a ridiculous 17 assists per game as a team, so even without LeVert they are creating opportunities.

Playing Michigan is a lot like playing Indiana. They are going to run and shoot. The job of the defense is to stay out in front and not give them easy looks. Offensively I want to see get back to having guys like Rapheal Davis and Vince Edwards penetrating. They are Purdue's best options there and when they are driving it clears up a ton of Purdue's offensive problems. Both were pretty bad against Iowa on offense, Ray D., especially.

This is a turnaround game opportunity against a good opponent at home. It is time to break out the metaphorical mouthwash and get the taste of Saturday out of our mouths.