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Opening Odds and Game Preview: #4 Purdue vs. Northwestern

Purdue will look to get back on track in Mackey Arena.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

The world is falling.

Or you’re supposed to lose on the road in a rivalry.

These seem to be the two camps coming out of Purdue’s first loss in ten games to in-state rival IU on Thursday night. Whether either of these things are true or the right tone or nuanced enough for the twitterverse, one thing is very obvious: Every chance Purdue gets to say emphatically they are a top-five team in the country and a no-brainer Final Four favorite, they lose.

They did it by losing their first game as #1 team in the country on the road to Rutgers. They did it when they hosted the best guard in the Big Ten at Mackey and lost to the Badgers. They did it Thursday, when they went into IU hoping to keep an unprecedented road win streak at Assembly Hall as top five teams fell all over the country.

Purdue has reached the top of the national landscape, taken a brief moment to look around, lost their footing, and keep falling right back down to old Purdue stereotypes.

Purdue’s overall record and resume are still strong. They’re 15-3. It’s just all three losses are in the Big Ten so they’re already on the bottom looking up in the Big Ten. But it’s hard to look at all three close losses and not be disappointed. Switch any of them around and Purdue’s knocking back up at #1 again.

But they will get to come home on Sunday to take on a Northwestern team that I literally can’t tell you anything about definitive.

Talk about a strange team with strange results. Northwestern is 9-7 on the season. It’s a bad record, but they also don’t really have a bad loss.

They lost to Providence and Wake Forest in the non-conference, one on the road and one on a neutral court. They’ve lost a lot in the Big Ten: Michigan St., Penn St., Maryland, Ohio St., and Wisconsin.

But they also won at Michigan State. Their one elite skill as a team is protecting the ball. They don’t turn the ball over. They also rebound the ball on offense well.

Past that? Mediocre. Not particularly athletic or small, Boo Bouie is one of the best names in all of sports. Pete Nance is a big man that can really pass.

It’s a team Purdue should handle at home in a conference they can’t let anymore games get away. Which would be fine except Jaden Ivey’s status is now in question with a hip injury.

Trevion Williams isn’t injured but the star Center certainly hasn’t been playing well the last two games. He struggled against Illinois, coming up with some plays late, but forcing the ball and missing bunnies he normally makes. Against Indiana, an absolute no show. He scored just four points, tying his lowest outing in the last three years. He’s now shooting just 58% on the season.

Purdue can’t afford another no show from their big man leader.

Purdue will look to get back to what we thought they were. If Ivey can’t play, they’ll probably have to settle for surviving.

Basketball GameDay Vitals

St. Peter's Peacocks Record: 21-11, 14-6 MAAC
St. Peter's Peacocks Record: 21-11, 14-6 MAAC
From: Jersey City, NJ
Game Location: Philadelphia, PA
Venue: Wells Fargo Center (19,500)
Odds: Purdue by 12.5
Date & Time: Friday, March 25, 2022, 7:09pm ET
Streaming Radio TuneIn
Live Stats: Purdue Sports
KenPom 101
NET 124
Blog Representation: None
2020-21 Record 14-11, 10-8
Postseason Result: None
NCAA Tournament History: 4th appearance. This is the first season they have won a game. 2017 CIT Champions
Series With Purdue: Purdue leads 1-0
Last Purdue win: 65-43 in Chicago, IL on 3/18/2011 (NCAA Tournament First Round)
Last St. Peter's win: None
Coach: Shaheen holloway (63-55 in 4th year at St. Peter's)