The No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) are back in action on Monday night against the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers (12-1 overall, 1-1 Big Ten). Unfortunately, the game will be taking place in Mackey Arena a place where Wisconsin basically never wins, so there is a lot going against UW tonight.
UW has only played one game in the last two and a half weeks and, quite frankly, didn’t look great in that effort (a four-point win over Illinois State) or the one before (a three-point win over Nicholls) so the prospect of playing a top-five Purdue team on the road does not exactly fill me with confidence. For myriad reasons, but this one in particular, it is good I’m not on the actual team.
The Badgers seem more than capable of playing up (or down) to their competition this season as they proved in the Maui Invitational against Houston and Saint Mary’s or in their comeback win over Indiana. Purdue, however, is definitely the best team they’ve played so far this year and may end up being the best team they play all season.
Purdue has only one loss this year, a crazy buzzer beater loss at Rutgers (Purdue’s only true road game so far) in Purdue’s first ever game as the AP No. 1 team, and is currently on a four-game winning streak. The Boilermakers haven’t played the toughest schedule this year, but they do hold wins over UNC, Villanova, Florida State and Iowa this season.
Wisconsin utilizes screens well, and they will refuse them often (especially Davis #1). Here ILL gets caught going under with a hedge, and Hepburn #23 refuses for the open 3. He has not shot well, but Purdue can't afford to give up these kinds of looks pic.twitter.com/bHc6qmtJOg— Purdue Basketball Analytics (@AnalyticsPurdue) January 3, 2022
In our Q&A with T-Mill from Hammers and Rails, he noted that Purdue has struggled to defend the perimeter well this year and that is an area that opposing teams could take advantage of. Brad Davison will likely need to score 20+, mostly from long range, Johnny Davis will have to play at the All-America level he has been playing at so far and someone else (Chucky Hepburn? Lorne Bowman? Steven Crowl?) is going to have to be on from three as well for UW to have a chance.
Wisconsin’s defense is going to have their hands full as I can’t find a single weakness on Purdue’s offense. They shoot 41.1% from three (fifth best in the nation) and 59.1% from inside the arc (third best in the nation). They rebound just under 40% of their misses (sixth best in the nation) and have the second best eFG% in the country too. They rarely get their shots blocked and also get to the free throw line with regularity.
Ya gotta just pray for big man foul trouble and an off three point shooting night at the same time to compete with these guys. While I’m not expecting a win, I am excited to see how the Badgers respond to another hostile road environment after not doing so well against Ohio State a month ago.
How to watch/listen
TV: BTN, 6:00 p.m. CT, Brandon Gaudin, Robbie Hummel, Andy Katz
Streaming: FOX SPORTS App; Fox Sports
Radio/Satellite: WIBA 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Lane Grindle, Andy North
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
DraftKings Line: Wisconsin +12.5
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 16%
Torvik Wisconsin win percentage: 13%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Monday’s game will mark meeting No. 184 between Wisconsin and Purdue in a series that dates back to 1906.
- The Boilermakers hold a 73-18 advantage for games played in West Lafayette in the series and a 111-72 advantage overall.
- Purdue has won the last five meetings at Mackey Arena. UW is seeking its first road win over Purdue since 2014 (UW won 72-58).
- The Boilermakers have a 42-4 mark at Mackey Arena against UW. Wisconsin’s wins came during the 1971-72, 2004-05, 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons.
⌚️ It’s time for Big Ten basketball.— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) January 3, 2022
Nothing better than a big game in Mackey. pic.twitter.com/g7oxMQuKy5
- Wisconsin DID earn a win at Mackey Arena last season, knocking off North Carolina, 85-62, in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
- Wisconsin sophomore Johnny Davis, Purdue sophomore Jaden Ivey and freshman Caleb Furst were teammates this past summer on Team USA’s roster for the FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia. The team won a gold medal.
- UW also has four wins away from the Kohl Center. Only USC (six), Auburn (five), Michigan State (five) and Minnesota (five) have more road/ neutral wins among major conference teams.
- UW ranks third in the Big Ten shooting 76.8% at the free throw line and has made more FTs (182) than its foes have attempted (173).
- Purdue has outscored its opponents by 107 points at the free throw line, the second-largest margin in the country.
- Wisconsin ranks fourth in the Big Ten allowing 63.2 ppg. Only four opponents have averaged more than 1.0 PPP in a game against UW this season.
- UW is second in the NCAA averaging just 8.3 turnovers per game this season.
B1G battle with the Boilermakers pic.twitter.com/QazIbztud0— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 3, 2022
- Purdue recorded just its fourth season of being unbeaten in non-conference play since the 1939-40 campaign with a 104-90 win over Nicholls. Purdue went unbeaten in non-conference play in 2021-22 (11-0), 2009-10 (12-0), 1993-94 (12-0) and 1992-93 (9-0).
- Only three teams have records of 3-0 or better in quad-1 games (Providence 5-0, Purdue 3-0, Baylor 3-0).
- Purdue has scored at least 40 points in 16 of the 26 halves played this year. It has shot at least 50.0 percent from the field in 17 halves.
- Matt Painter needs four wins to tie Ward “Piggy” Lambert (371) for second place on the Purdue career victories list. Painter also needs one Big Ten win to tie Michigan State’s Jud Heathcote for seventh (182) on the all-time Big Ten wins list.
- Both Purdue and Wisconsin are continuing impressive fall sports seasons for their respective schools. Purdue and Wisconsin are the only schools in America to have won an NCAA Volleyball match, an NCAA Women’s Soccer match and their respective Bowl Game in football.
- The group of Jaden Ivey, Trevion Williams and Zach Edey is averaging 44.9 points, 21.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.8 steals per game, shooting 222-of-363 (.612).
- Purdue is one of five teams nationally to shoot over 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 70.0 percent from the free throw line.
- Johnny Davis, 6-foot-5, sophomore, guard, No. 1
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 5
- Steven Crowl, 7-foot, sophomore, forward, No. 22
- Chucky Hepburn, 6-foot-2, freshman, guard, No. 23
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, super senior, guard, No. 34
- Mason Gillis, 6-foot-6, sophomore, forward, No. 0
- Isaiah Thompson, 6-foot-1, junior, guard, No. 11
- Jaden Ivey, 6-foot-4, sophomore, guard, No. 23
- Trevion Williams, 6-foot-10, senior, forward, No. 50
- Sasha Stefanovic, 6-foot-5, senior, guard, No. 55