After a big jump to #5 in Monday’s Associated Press Poll, Purdue is going to look to keep the momentum rolling with a true road test against Michigan on Tuesday night at 9:00 PM Eastern. The Boilermakers have had some tough circumstances and won, but this week is going to show what kind of team they can be against quality Big Ten opponents on the road. For these reasons, Purdue is only a two-point favorite which is still very reasonable against a 14-3 team in their home arena.
Coming into the contest, Purdue still has the most momentum out of all Big Ten schools riding an 11-game winning streak. In their last time out, the Boilermakers were effective in a different type of game defeating Nebraska 74-62. The first half was great in the beginning and then turned into a fun battle to watch with great defense at some points and offensive streaks at other times. Vince Edwards was a big factor in the box score for Purdue, leading the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Isaac Haas added 14 points while Dakota Mathias scored 11. Purdue led for nearly the entire game with a tied game for only 44 seconds.
Michigan carries some of the same momentum with a 7-game win streak. The Wolverines last time out was a solid effort, beating Illinois 79-69 at home. Moritz Wagner had a pretty nice game with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks to lead Michigan to the victory. Shockingly, Michigan struggled to come out of the gate, down 21-13 at one point. They trailed at halftime 34-31 but never looked back outscored the Fighting Illini 48-35 in second half play.
The Numbers to Know (Purdue Athletics Department)
• 11 & 7: Purdue has the 3rd-longest (11) while Michigan (7) has the 7th-longest win streak nationally.
• 3: Purdue’s first three road games in Big Ten play are against teams that made the 2017 NCAAs.
• 5: Purdue’s AP ranking — its highest since Feb. 22, 2010 (No. 3).
• 6: Number of teams nationally to have four players average 13.0 points per game.
• 7: Consecutive opponents held under 43.0 percent shooting from the field.
• 8: Consecutive opponents held under 70 points (last – Maryland on Dec. 1, 2017).
• 9: Largest deficit during Purdue’s 11-game winning streak (19-10 vs. IUPUI).
• 17: Consecutive wins in games played on Tuesday (last loss – Jan. 21, 2014 vs. Northwestern; 63-60).
• 40: Winning streak when holding opponents to 59 or fewer points (March 14, 2013, vs. Nebraska).
• 0.81: Purdue’s defensive points per possession over the last seven games.
PPG: Purdue 86.1, Michigan 76.9
PA: Purdue 63.3, Michigan 61.6
FG%: Purdue 50.2%, Michigan 48.7%
RPG: Purdue 38.8, Michigan 33.8
APG: Purdue 17.8, Michigan 16.4
BPG: Purdue 6.2, Michigan 3.4
SPG: Purdue 6.4, Michigan 7.4
Purdue’s Projected Starting Lineup
G: P.J. Thompson
G: Carsen Edwards
F: Dakota Mathias
F: Vincent Edwards
C: Isaac Haas
Michigan’s Projected Starting Lineup
G: Xavier Simpson
G: Duncan Robinson
F: Moritz Wagner
F: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman
C: Charles Matthews
Purdue will have its toughest task yet this season when traveling to Ann Arbor. With all the media attention and now a #5 ranking in the AP Poll, the Boilermakers will show their true colors when facing the elite schools. A win would be the biggest confidence booster Purdue can receive all season especially when going to the tournament. A loss which hopefully won’t happen can strengthen the work ethic and make sure everyone is prepared for its next big game. The numbers favor Purdue and that’s why they have the slighter edge in winning the game.