Big Ten Basketball
No. 10/11 Purdue at No. 18/19 Wisconsin
|18-4 (7-2 Big Ten) ||15-5 (5-3)|
February 1, 2011 6:00 PM CT
Kohl Center (17,230), Madison, Wis.
TV: ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Dan Dakich & Jill Montgomery)
Radio: Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)
All-time Series: Purdue leads 103-63
Last Meeting: Purdue won 60-57 in West Lafayette, Ind., Jan. 28, 2010
MADISON, Wis. - Welcome into our live game thread from snowy Madison as the Badgers look for their 15th straight win at the Kohl Center. Still stinging from an unexpected loss at Penn State, in which the Badgers blew a 14-point first-half lead, Wisconsin hopes another sellout crowd will help it record its 19th consecutive win following a loss.
The 11th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers will provide a stiff test and, some might say, an opportunity for a resume-building win. PU is the highest-ranked team the Badgers have faced all season. Wisconsin is 2-1 when facing ranked opponents this year, splitting the season series with Illinois and beating Minnesota at the Kohl Center.
With Ohio State undefeated and firmly entrenched as the top team in college basketball, it appears the Badgers and Boilermakers are the leading candidates to finish second in the Big Ten regular season standings. A Wisconsin win tonight would even UW with Purdue in the loss column with three apiece. Minnesota, Michigan State, Penn State and Illinois have all suffered four defeats and none of those teams look consistent or healthy enough to make a serious bid to place behind the Buckeyes.
Tonight's game begins a brutal stretch of play for Wisconsin in the second half of the conference season. Three of its four games against the bottom third of the league come on the road and home games against Michigan State and Ohio State are extremely challenging. For the Badgers to make their 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, they need to pick up a couple marquee wins at the Kohl Center and beat the teams they should away from home.
We'll be here all game long so feel free to chime in with your comments, questions and predictions!