This is March, folks, and as such we’ve got important basketball games to discuss. On Tuesday night, the No. 25 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (16-9 overall, 10-8 Big Ten) hits the road for the penultimate game of the regular season against the No. 23 Purdue Boilermakers (16-8 overall, 11-6 Big Ten.)
The Boilers appear to be hitting their stride at the right time, having won three in a row and four of their last five, while UW has lost three of their past five and are coming off a tough loss to Illinois at home. Purdue has luckily avoided playing Michigan, Illinois and Iowa twice this year (all three games they lost) but did play Ohio State twice and swept them. Purdue, as you’ll see in the Fun Facts section are a very young team and now that all the freshmen are fully settled in it looks like they’re playing the best ball of the year.
Game Day in West Lafayette pic.twitter.com/qcyWSbt4mc— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 2, 2021
Over their past five games, Purdue has had over a 1.10 PPP on offense and hasn’t allowed a PPP over 0.99. The Badgers defense has been just as good but it’s their offense that has been hit or miss over the last month.
The Boilers defense is allowing a lot of three point attempts this season but it has not translated to a very good 3P% for their opposition. Unfortunately, this will probably be a very good thing for them against a Badgers team that likes to shoot the three but isn’t so keen on making them recently.
This has all the makings of a Classic 2021 Wisconsin Badgers Game where they shoot a ton of threes (make a decent amount of them, but not nearly enough) and lose by seven or something because they can’t get any other offense going and Trevion Williams has his way with Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers down low.
ENJOY THE GAME!
How to watch/listen
TV: ESPN2, 8:00 p.m., CT, Dave Flemming, Chris Spatola
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 83; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
Line: Wisconsin +2
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 43%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Tuesday’s game will mark UW’s 19th game against Quad 1 or Quad 2 competition, going 9-9 in such games so far.
- Through 25 games, UW’s schedule ranks No. 12 in the NCAA according to ESPN’s BPI. UW’s “Strength of Record” (based on how difficult a team’s W-L record is to achieve), ranks No. 20 according to ESPN’s BPI.
Wisconsin will face its 10th ranked opponent of the season tomorrow, the most regular-season games vs. the AP Top 25 in school history— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 1, 2021
#25 Wisconsin at #23 Purdue
Tip at 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2#OnWisconsin » #Badgers pic.twitter.com/3sDiKZ7X0W
- The Badgers are 6-1 this season after a loss, having only lost consecutive games once over the last 35 games dating back to last season.
- Tuesday’s game will mark the 183rd meeting between Wisconsin and Purdue in a series that dates back to its beginning in 1906.
- Purdue leads the all-time series, 110-72, and the Boilermakers hold a 72-18 advantage for games played in West Lafayette in the series. The Badgers haven’t won at Mackey since 2014.
- Purdue and Wisconsin have split the last four matchups, with UW claiming the most recent meeting with a 69-65 victory in Madison.
- The Badgers rank No. 3 in the Big Ten shooting 75.6% at the foul line. That mark would rank as the fifth-best FT percentage in UW history.
- UW leads the Big Ten and is No. 24 in the NCAA in scoring defense (63.2 ppg).
- Wisconsin leads the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.0) and ranks No. 2 in turnover percentage (13.4%).
- Brad Davison has averaged 9.8 points per game in his five career games against Purdue. He’s scored in double figures 3x, shooting 47.1% FG (16-34) and 47.4% 3FG (9-19).
Brad recently had a 1 for 28 stretch from two. pic.twitter.com/Fx0GevNdsL— Bart T rvik (@totally_t_bomb) March 2, 2021
- Senior D’Mitrik Trice matched his season high with 29 points (6-9 3FG), scoring 25 points in the second half alone, in Wisconsin’s last outing, a loss to Illinois.
- Four different Purdue freshmen have earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, the most in league history. According to KenPom.com, Purdue ranks No. 328 (out of 347 teams) in experience (1.04 years).
- Through 24 games, Purdue’s freshman class has accounted for 724 (30.2 PPG) of the team’s 1,702 points (42.5 percent).
- Purdue has held 13 straight opponents to 72 or fewer points, the third-longest streak in the country.
- Over the last five years since the start of the 2016-17 season, Purdue has the most wins in the Big Ten (65).
- PU big man Trevion Williams is averaging 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in Big Ten play. Since the 1992-93 season, just two other Big Ten players have averaged 17, 8.5 and 2 in league play. Williams has five 20-10 games this year, tied for third among major college players.
- D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8, redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, sophomore, forward, No. 5
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
- Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11, senior, forward, No. 35
- Mason Gillis, 6-foot-6, redshirt freshman, forward, No. 0
- Eric Hunter, Jr., 6-foot-4, junior, guard, No. 2
- Jaden Ivey, 6-foot-4, freshman, guard, No. 23
- Trevion Williams, 6-foot-10, junior, forward, No. 50
- Sasha Stefanovic, 6-foot-5, junior, guard, No. 55