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Purdue at Wisconsin Preview

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Purdue now needs another road win to feel safe on Selection Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It is not a shock, but the 27 votes that Purdue got in last week’s AP Poll are long gone this week. A pair of double-digit losses will do that. The Boilers followed up their best week of the season with probably their worst. Now Purdue is once again right up against it for the 2020 NCAA Tournament. Would three home wins over Michigan, Indiana, and Rutgers and a 10-10 record in Big Ten play be enough, even if Purdue loses in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament? Maybe.

Maybe not, though.

Winning one of the two road games would be a huge boost at this point. I will maintain that 18-13, 11-9 would be more than enough with our strong computer profile. To do that, however, Purdue must find a way to beat Wisconsin or Iowa. The good news is that we already beat both handily at home. The bad news is we must go on the road again, and “Bad Road Purdue” returned on Saturday in Columbus.

Wisconsin Badgers

From: Madison, Wisconsin

Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tip Time: 7pm

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Arena: Kohl Center (17,287)

TV: ESPN

Radio: Boilermaker Sports Network

SiriusXM Satellite: XM (Ch. 381); Internet (Ch. 968)

Live Stats: bit.ly/PurdueLiveStats

Odds: No Line Yet

NET: 31

KenPom: 28

2018-19 Record: 23-11, 14-6 (Lost to Oregon 72-54 in NCAA Tournament First Round)

2019-20 Record: 15-10, 8-6 Big Ten

Record vs. Purdue: Purdue leads 110-71

Last Purdue win: 70-51 at Purdue on 1/24/2020

Last Wisconsin win: 57-53 at Wisconsin on 2/15/2018

Blog Representation: Bucky’s 5th Quarter

NCAA Tournament History: 24 appearances, last in 2019. 1941 NCAA Champion

Coach: Greg Gard (95-57 in 5th season at Wisconsin)

There is not a lot new to say about the Badgers since we saw them a few weeks ago. They lost at Iowa by 6 and Minnesota by 18, but won at home against Michigan State by 1 and Ohio State by 13. They also had a 17-point road win at Nebraska on Saturday. Like Purdue, they have been up and down most of the year and have a very similar overall profile.

Purdue won the first game thanks to the overall hustle and grit of Evan Boudreaux. His 10-13-3 powered a very comfortable home win where Purdue was barely challenged in the second half. The 14 points from Isaiah Thompson were also key. This was the final game where Wisconsin had Kobe King, but Purdue held him scoreless anyway, so it didn’t matter. Nate Reuvers was hassled into 4 of 11 shooting from the floor and held to 10 points.

Really, the game was a mismatch. The final margin was not as large as the Iowa game, but Purdue was in firm control throughout, leading 28-11 at one point late in the first half and 33-15 at the break. Purdue’s defense was stifling early on and Wisconsin didn’t even get to 40 points until there was 3:35 left. By then Purdue was up 26 even in a game where it only shot 45% from the floor.

I think this comes down to Purdue’s effort. It was definitely lacking on Saturday. Against Penn State last Tuesday the Boilers were stunned by an early barrage of threes and never really recovered. Penn State broke our defense, while Purdue’s broken offense killed it at Columbus. Simply put, Purdue will have zero chance if it repeats it offensive performance against Ohio State. I don’t think Wisconsin has the offensive firepower to do what Penn State did, but if Purdue’s offense is not demonstrably better than it was on Saturday it won’t matter.