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Crossroads Classic Preview: Purdue vs Notre Dame

Purdue looks to bounce back from a tough road loss to Vandy and come away with their first Crossroads Classic win.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent: #21 Notre Dame

Date / Time: Saturday, December 20th - approx. 5:15 PM Eastern

Location: Banker's Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

TV: BTN

Line: ND by 3

Projected Starting Lineups
Purdue Notre Dame
Isaac Haas Zach Auguste
Vince Edwards Pat Connaughton
Rapheal Davis Steve Vasturia
Dakota Mathias Jerian Grant
Jon Octeus Demetrius Jackson

Who Are The Irish?

Mike Brey is in his 15th season in South Bend and so far it has been a good one. Notre Dame has gone 10-1 to start the year and, thanks to the new ACC scheduling, is 1-0 in conference with a blowout win over Florida State. Outside of FSU, the only other major conference victory for the Irish was against Michigan State in OT and their lone blemish was by a single point against Providence in the championship of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.

The Irish have performed extremely well on offense this season and currently rank first in the country in FG% at 55.7. They average 84.9 points per game, led by a potent backcourt consisting of Jerian Grant (18.9 points and 6 assists) and Demetrius Jackson (13.3 ad 3.1). Notre Dame is not just efficient shooting the ball, they also take care of it, turning it over only 9 times a game.

Prediction

Purdue has struggled in this competition, going 0-3 and losing by 13 to Notre Dame in 2012. Surely that makes them due, right? Maybe, if the Boilermakers are going to pull it off though they will need a strong defensive performance from their guards. On offense, Kendall Stephens will need to help take the pressure off of the bigs Isaac Haas and A.J. Hammons inside by hitting his outside shots, something he has struggled with off and on this season. I'm predicting Matt Painter's team stepping up to the challenge and winning a very tight game, Purdue 81 Notre Dame 79 in overtime.