The season is over is Purdue loses this game.
We all know about Purdue’s road failures, but aside from the Nebraska game, Purdue has at least lost to good teams on the road. If Purdue loses to Northwestern that would mean the Boilers would finish the regular season 1-2 against the two worst teams in the Big Ten. Nebraska and Northwestern have separated themselves as the worst two for a while now. Both are well behind the pack in all the computer rankings and, in the case of Northwestern, their 1-9 record has them in last place overall. A loss by Purdue would be absolutely devastating towards our NCAA hopes.
From: Evanston, IL
Game Location: Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Date: February 1, 2020
Time: 9pm ET
Radio: Boilermaker Sports Network
Odds: No Line Yet
2018-19 Record: 13-19, 4-16 Big Ten
2019-20 Record: 6-14, 1-9 Big Ten
Record vs. Purdue: Purdue leads 130-46
Last Purdue win: 58-44 at Purdue on 12/8.2019
Last Northwestern win: 74-65 at Purdue on 3/9/2014
Opponent Blog: InsideNU
NCAA Tournament History: 1 appearance, reached 2017 Second Round
Coach: Chris Collins (107-110 in 7th season at Northwestern)
The first game was not great for Purdue. The Boilers scored only 58 points, but a stifling defense limited the Wildcats to only 44 points. Sasha Stefanovic had 14, Matt Haarms had 12, and Jahaad Proctor had 10 as Purdue shot only 39% from the floor and 22% from three, but it was enough because Northwestern only got 14 from Pete Nance.
Since then Northwestern has just one win in conference play: by 5 at home over Nebraska. This is a team hat has lost to Merrimack, Radford, and Hartford at home. They pushed Indiana in Bloomington and even gave Michigan State a game back in December, but for the most part this has been a team that lacks enough offensive firepower to compete in the Big Ten. They are last in scoring in the conference at 65.5 points per game, last in three-point defense, and at the bottom of the league in rebounding. Miller Kopp and Pat Spencer are their only two players averaging in double figures with Boo Buie and Ryan Young just under 10 points per game.
Let’s be blunt: this would be a disastrous loss for Purdue and if we can’t win in Evanston, we’re not going to win anywhere else. This is a tiny arena, against a bad team, with a disinterested fanbase. With the Chicago alums we can turn it into Mackey North. Mark Grace would call this game, “The Slumpbuster”, and that is what we need right now. Prove we can win on the road in the conference anywhere, then build on it.