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1/16 Big Ten Preview: Purdue Eyes 14th Straight Win Against Desperate Badgers

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Game (Only Game) of the Day

-Wisconsin Badgers at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET/ESPN
  • KenPom Spread: Purdue (-15.5)

The Purdue Boilermakers will look to keep it rolling against the reeling Wisconsin Badgers at home on Tuesday night.

After escaping Michigan with a 70-69 win to keep their lengthy win streak alive, the Boilermakers pulverized Minnesota 81-47 on the road for their 13th consecutive victory.

Purdue currently sits atop the Big Ten standings with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play. There really isn’t much debate as to who the best team in the Big Ten is thus far. Purdue’s consistent high-powered offense and smothering defense has helped the Boilermakers climb to no. 3 in the AP Top 25.

While Purdue has essentially been able to get whatever its wanted offensively this season, the Badgers have been significantly struggling on the offensive end as of late.

The 9-9 Badgers have lost two straight games to fall to 2-3 in Big Ten play. In its recent two defeats, Wisconsin scored an average of only 59.5 points.

As anticipated, All-American forward Ethan Happ has been getting it done all season for Wisconsin. However, outside of Happ, the only Badger that has proven he can be relied on to score consistently is freshman guard Brad Davison.

Besides Happ and Davison, no Wisconsin player is averaging a double digit scoring mark. It’s worth noting that Brevin Pritzl has averaged 12.1 points over his last seven games. Regardless, it will be extremely difficult for the Badgers to keep up with Purdue’s offense, which is averaging 85 points per game.

Though he has had a successful season overall, Purdue forward Vincent Edwards has specifically been playing at a high level over his last few games. Edwards has scored at least 20 in three of his last five games and has collected two double-doubles in that span.

Edwards is the 17th highest scorer in the Big Ten and has basically been unstoppable recently. The crazier thing is that Edwards is only Purdue’s third highest scorer.

Carsen Edwards is the fifth best scorer in the conference, while Isaac Haas is the 15th.

The bottom line is that it is going to be extremely tough for Wisconsin to keep this game close. Even though the Badgers’ exceptional defense gives them an opportunity to compete, Purdue’s defense has actually been better than Wisconsin’s this season.

With that being said, I still believe the 15.5 point spread is a little too large. Despite Wisconsin’s struggles, the Badgers have had no trouble competing with top-tier competition. Even if Purdue comes out hot, Wisconsin should still be able to keep this game closer than 16.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Wisconsin