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#6 Purdue vs Iowa: Opening Odds and Preview

#6 Purdue travels to Iowa to try and sweep the Hawkeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

#6 Purdue’s first win against the Hawkeyes, 77-70, came with an asterisk. Despite the homecourt advantage and a big lead in the second half, the Hawkeye’s press gave Purdue’s offense fits again and pulled the game to within one possession late. All of this was with Coach McCaffrey missing his best player, Keegan Murray.

This game was looking like it might have an asterisk, too. Coach Painter’s star guard, Jaden Ivey, struggled through a hip flexor in Purdue’s loss at Indiana, but was forced to sit out against Northwestern on Sunday in Purdue’s twenty point victory.

Ivey announced last night that he would be able to go again Iowa.

Obviously this is a key development for a team that has had success against Iowa, but has continuously struggled against McCaffrey’s unique press.

Purdue turned the ball over 17 times in the teams’ first matchup.

Purdue was up 63-44 with just over nine minutes remaining. McCaffrey initiated the press and Purdue’s guards froze, stalled, turned it over, and damn near handed the game to the Hawkeyes. The lead dwindled to two points before Purdue was able to hit enough free throws late to stretch the lead back to seven.

How will Purdue handle that pressure in hostile waters?

There was plenty to like about Purdue’s performance against Iowa. Stop if you’ve heard this before, but Purdue’s bigs are a matchup nightmare for an Iowa team that lacks front court heft. Purdue in general looked the more physical imposing team, getting to the line a season-high 37 times. They also shot the three well, knocking down 8 of 19 attempts.

Iowa is a bad defensive team. If they’re not stopping you at half court and forcing a turnover in the press, they’re probably not stopping you. That has to be Coach Painter’s focus and the guard’s responsibility. Eric Hunter Jr.s’ final season has been an up and down affair, but he’s coming off one of his best performances of the season. Is that enough to boost his confidence?

This will be a game of offense. Purdue and Iowa have two of the best in the conference. But Purdue, despite struggling most the season defending the perimeter, found success against Iowa’s guards and defending the three point shot. Iowa shot just 5 of 21 on threes.

This is of course the point of optimism for Iowa. Despite not shooting well, despite putting Purdue on the line nearly forty times, despite missing their best player and one of the Player of the Year candidates in the Big Ten, they lost by just 7 points and gave Purdue real problems again with just bringing the ball up.

Now, they’ll get to be back home and get Keegan Murray to challenge Purdue off the dribble.

For Purdue, they’ll need to dominate the glass and have better games from their big men. Zach Edey had his season-low against Iowa. Trevion Williams has had one of the worst stretches in his career in the last three games. Purdue survived on Jaden Ivey being the best player on the floor against Iowa the first time. With Ivey struggling with his hip, will they be able to count on that again?

For Purdue, this is a prove it game. Purdue’s been a top ten program all season. They’ve been ranked #1, but they keep slipping from the top-five. They’ve got three Big Ten losses already, but the Big Ten is still attainable. If they don’t toss up anymore games to teams they should beat. They should beat Iowa.

For Iowa, they need to prove they’re a legitimate top-25 team. A win against a top-6 team does just that.

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)