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Opening Odds and Game Preview: #5 Purdue at Northwestern

Purdue goes to Northwestern for a rematch against a team they beat by 20 earlier this season.

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

#5 Purdue might finally be able to catch their breath after playing 6 games in two weeks where they took on and beat ranked teams, Ohio St. and Illinois, before being blown out in their second match up to Michigan in four days in Ann Arbor and barely beating Maryland at home.

The Boilermakers in their last two games have looked a far cry away from their world beating 21-3 start to the season when they looked like a pre-determined #1 seed come NCAA Tournament time.

But they are in the middle of their most manageable three-game stretch in the Big Ten Conference and more importantly, will get at least three days in between every one of their final five games of the regular season.

Northwestern has had some success recently, winners of three of their last four, with just a 7 point loss at Illinois on Sunday.

This will be the second time these two teams have played this year, but the first match up with Jaden Ivey. Ivey missed the first match up in Mackey after suffering a hip injury prior to their game against Indiana that he was able to play through in Bloomington, but that flared up enough to keep him out against Northwestern.

Purdue didn’t end up needing their lead guard, jumping out to a big lead and dominating the whole way through, winning 80 to 60 in one of Purdue’s most complete games of the season.

Sasha Stefanovic took advantage of the extra shots, scoring 22 points and knocking down 6 three pointers. Both big men, Zach Edey and Trevion Williams, scored 12 points, and Purdue shot 29 out of 56 as a team.

They also had one of their best defensive performances, with Boo Bouie being the lone bright spot and only double-digit scorer in West Lafayette with 17 points, most of them coming from his 5 made three-pointers.

Northwestern’s lack of perimeter size and athleticism allowed Purdue’s guards to play comfortable. Eric Hunter Jr. had one of his best games of the season with 10 points and 5 assists.

For Purdue, this game will be about showing their last two games as aberrations. They won’t be able to use the tired legs or tired team reasoning the rest of the way. They’ll need a strong bounce back on the road. Purdue offense has been alarmingly inefficient the last two games, failing to even come close to 70 points despite being the #1 offense in the country.

A win won’t suffice for Coach Painter. They’ll need to get some style points back as they try to push back into the picture for a #1 seed. Stumbles on the road against their last ‘easy’ Big Ten opponent, isn’t an option. Purdue’s now one game back from Illinois and tied with multiple teams at four losses in conference.

Northwestern will try to gain some more momentum and their best win of the season against Purdue at home. It will be a tall order.

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)