After an absolutely loaded Saturday for the Big Ten, things are set to slow down a bit on Sunday. The league has a marquee matchup featuring Purdue against Texas, but it’s the only game of the day.
Let’s take a look at today’s Big Ten action.
Game of the Day:
- Time/TV: 6:00PM ET (ESPN2)
- KenPom Spread: Purdue (-1)
The Boilermakers are currently amidst one of the toughest stretches for any team in the country. Purdue went on the road to face Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, followed that up with league games against Michigan and Maryland, and now goes on the road again to face a tough Texas team. Whew.
Conventional wisdom puts this game somewhere around a coin flip heading into the matchup. Purdue is only 6-3, but all three losses have come away from home and against quality competition. Texas, meanwhile, is 5-3 and coming off three straight losses. However, the Longhorns have already beaten capable Arkansas and North Carolina teams.
This one is largely going to come down to how Purdue’s backcourt performs against Texas’ pressure defense. Texas is 10th nationally in defensive efficiency and one of the best teams at forcing turnovers. The Boilermakers will need Ryan Cline and Carsen Edwards to take care of the ball. If so, things could go well for Purdue.
Players to watch will be Edwards for Purdue and Kerwin Roach for Texas. Roach is a really tough defender and plays a variety of roles for the Longhorns. Who performs better out of those two could go a long way toward deciding who wins this game.
It’s also worth emphasizing the importance of this game for Purdue. While the Boilermakers have been fine this year, this is a potential resume win that’s within the team’s grasp. Matt Painter and his staff need to find a way to grab this win. It would go a long way in March.
- Pick Against the Spread: Purdue
Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 18-14-0