Spread: Purdue -1.5, Total: 129
March 2nd 2021. 8 PM Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Top 25 clash in the Big 10 between two similar and evenly matched teams as the Wisconsin Badgers barge into West Lafayette to take on newly ranked Purdue.
Wisconsin Badgers (16-9, 10-8)
Even playing Illinois in Madison without Dosunmu, Wisconsin fell short yet again to one of the conference’s top 4 teams, bringing their record against them cumulatively to 0-6. Purdue is now a top 4 team in the conference so maybe this might finally be Wisconsin’s chance to get their first ranked win since December. Even though Wisconsin needed to win that game, a huge tip of the cap to D’Mitrik Trice who almost single handedly won the game for the Badgers by scoring 19 points in the final 2 minutes and change to bring UW within 1 after trailing by 12 with 2:12 remaining. Trice and crew will need that kind of shooting to Mackey if they want to upend the Boilermakers.
Purdue Boilermakers (16-8, 11-6)
After Iowa took down Ohio State on Sunday night, Purdue was the deserving recipient of the number 4 spot in the Big 10 standings, and with two games to go, they are now in control of their own destiny. If they win both games this week they would lock up a double bye in the Big 10 tournament and at worst a 5 seed in the Big Dance with a chance at a top 4 seed if they can win a tournament game or two. Let’s take a step back though. Purdue has won 5 out of their last 7 games with their only losses coming in heart breaking fashion on the road to both Minnesota and Maryland. During their climb back into the top 25, Purdue has been led by their big man in the middle Trevion Williams as well as freshman phenom Jaden Ivey who has taken the Big 10 by storm this year and shows flashes of what Purdue had in Carsen Edwards two years ago in their magical Elite Eight run. Boilermaker fans hope that Ivey can do even a sliver of what Edwards did that year.
Wisconsin just does not win in Mackey arena. In fact (courtesy of hammer and rails) Wisconsin is 4-41 all time in Mackey Arena including 3-15 in their last 18 tries. Wisconsin has not won at Purdue since 2014, the year they went to the Final Four. Last year, even in a down year for Purdue, the Boilermakers lit up the Badgers at home winning by 24. Purdue is 12-2 as a favorite overall this season and they are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games. On the other side, Wisconsin is reeling and are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games. I do like the over in this game, but my best bet is that Purdue will win this game and cover the spread. Take Purdue -1.5 for two units.
Matthew’s college basketball record 20/21: 8-7