Regular Season: Would you believe me if I told you that Purdue actually looked pretty good before conference play started? The team in the cellar of the league came into their Dec. 31 matchup with the Ohio State Buckeyes at a fairly impressive 10-3, with their only three losses being to Oklahoma State, Washington State, and Butler; two of those teams (OKST and BUT) being early NCAA Tournament favorites. What’s more, the Boilermakers beat teams such as Boston College and West Virginia, showing that they had the capacity to play the sport of basketball well. However, through their first two conference games, Purdue struggled to find a win, getting beaten by Ohio State and Minnesota, before snatching up their first conference win against Nebraska at home. The Boilermakers would then win their next two, the first at Illinois (who was still considered an NCAA Tournament contender at that point) and Penn State. Things quickly went south for them however, when they dropped 11 of their last 13 games of the season, with their only wins being over Minnesota at home in triple overtime and against Indiana. Safe to say that things just haven’t gone the way Purdue wishes they would’ve. Their final game this last weekend was the ultimate salt in the wound moment, as they lost their early-afternoon matchup against Northwestern, which placed the Boilermakers at the very bottom of the Big Ten conference for the season, and locked them in as a 12 seed for the B1G Tournament.
Tournament Outlook: Of all the first round games in the Big Ten Tournament, this game is the one that looks the most like it will be upset free. Purdue just can’t keep up with the Buckeyes, who are playing some of their best basketball right now. Expect a quick exit from Purdue, and a loooooooooot of work to be done in the offseason.
- Compiled by Brian Hall