College Basketball Game of the Week: No. 8 Purdue at No. 10 Wisconsin
The two teams atop the Big Ten standings are set to face off in a battle for hardwood superiority.
No. 8 Purdue travels to Madison to take on No. 10 Wisconsin in a matchup between two of the nation’s best programs.
The 23-5 Badgers sit at No. 1 in the Big Ten with a 14-4 conference record, followed by Purdue’s 24-5 overall record and 13-5 Big Ten record.
Wisconsin enters this contest with home-court advantage and a four-game win streak to boot, which is tied for the longest in the Big Ten.
The Boilermakers, on the other hand, are hoping for a bounce-back performance on the road after getting upset by Michigan State just a few days earlier.
The two programs have met once this season, with Wisconsin taking home the 74-69 victory in Purdue’s building on Jan. 3.
Purdue comes into this game with one of the premier offenses in the country, averaging 81.6 points per game, which is good for No. 6 in the country.
The Boilermakers are also flamethrowers from behind the arc, with a team 3-point field goal percentage of 39.88%, ranking them at No. 2 in the nation in that category, along with a 50.3% field-goal percentage that’s third in the country.
Purdue is led by guard Jaden Ivey, a potential top-five selection in the upcoming NBA Draft.
The sophomore leads the team in scoring and steals, with 17.4 points per game and 1.0 steals per game.
Going along with Ivey, the big man duo of Trevion Williams and the towering 7-foot-4-inch center in Zach Edey make the paint a tough place to score for opposing teams.
Edey, Williams and Sasha Stefanovic are also averaging double figures every time they take the floor.
Guard Ethan Morton leads the team in 3-point percentage, shooting at a 46.2% clip, but the Boilermakers host five other players with 3-point percentages above 40%.
Scoring won’t be an issue for the away team.
On the other side, Wisconsin just doesn’t turn the ball over and give extra scoring opportunities to its opponents.
The Badgers have the second-fewest amount of turnovers in the entire country with 243 on the season.
Wisconsin is led by a future lottery pick of their own in do-it-all guard Johnny Davis, who leads the team in two different categories: points and rebounds.
The sophomore Badger has currently eclipsed the 20-points-per-game mark, averaging 20.5 points per contest to go along with his 8.3 rebounds.
Davis is also tied for the most assists, steals and blocks on the team as well, averaging 2.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.
Brad Davison and Tyler Wahl are the other contributors for Wisconsin, recording 14.2 and 11.2 points per game, respectively.
Unlike their opponent, the Badgers are not a great shooting team, with a team average of 31.6% behind the 3-point line.
Purdue appears to have the advantage on the offensive side of the ball largely in part to the lights out shooting that’s been on display all season.
However, Wisconsin’s ability to make the most of its possessions without giving the ball away will keep them close no matter the opponent.
Zach Allen is a second-year majoring in digital & print journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Sophomore / Digital and Print Journalism