The Big Ten only had one game on Thursday night after Iowa and Michigan State got postponed. The remaining matchup was between rivals Indiana and Purdue as the Hoosiers tried to get the program’s first win over the Boilermakers with Archie Miller at the helm.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Purdue Boilermakers 81, Indiana Hoosiers 69
This game has been a house of horrors for Archie Miller and Hoosier fans since he arrived in Bloomington. And unfortunately for them, that’s how things stayed on Thursday night. The Boilermakers stormed things out of the gates and never looked back en route to an 81-69 win. Trevion Williams led the way with 22 points.
The Boilermakers improved to 9-5 overall and 4-3 in Big Ten play with the win and now unquestionably appear to be on the right side of the NCAA bubble. Perhaps more importantly to fans, this was Purdue’s eighth straight win in the series and its 11th win its last 12 games against the Hoosiers. An unbelievable run for such a great rivalry.
Purdue also has a chance to make a statement over the coming weeks with a really favorable stretch. Just look at the team’s next six games:
Purdue’s Next Six Games (KenPom Odds To Win):
- 1/17 - Penn State (65%)
- 1/19 - at Ohio State (36%)
- 1/22 - Michigan (38%)
- 1/30 - Minnesota (60%)
- 2/2 - at Maryland (48%)
- 2/6 - Northwestern (71%)
Just about every game looks winnable there and with one (Michigan) of the two most difficult opponents (Michigan and Ohio State) at home, there’s a real chance Purdue could go 5-1 or 4-2 in that stretch. And if so, it could establish itself as a genuine Big Ten contender. We’ll have to wait and see if the team can get the job done.
On the other side, this is an absolutely crushing blow for the Hoosiers. Not only because this marks another rivalry loss for Archie Miller, but because it puts the team on the narrow edge of the bubble with an absolutely brutal stretch upcoming. Unlike Purdue’s slate above, look at Indiana’s next six games:
Indiana’s Next Six Games (KenPom Odds To Win):
- 1/17 - at Michigan State (46%)
- 1/21 - at Iowa (21%)
- 1/24 - Rutgers (60%)
- 1/30 - at Michigan (22%)
- 2/2 - Illinois (41%)
- 2/7 - Iowa (34%)
Even if you think Indiana pulls off an upset or two, it’s likely going 3-3 at best. And with the team already sitting at just 8-6 overall and 3-4 in Big Ten play, that might be too much of a hole to overcome as we round into late February and March. We’ve seen dramatic bounce backs before and never is ever over in January, but Thursday was a rough one in Bloomington. We’ll see if the team can overcome its early missteps.
-Michigan State Spartans at No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes
This figured to be a fun game as Iowa tries to cement itself as a Big Ten title contender alongside Michigan. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait at least a little long to see what happens between these two. We wish everyone involved health and safety.