WHO: #3 Purdue Boilermakers (18-2, 7-0 B1G) | KenPom #2
WHEN: 11:00 AM CT
WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)
RADIO: Learfield Sports affiliates
ONLINE AUDIO: TuneIn
VEGAS: Purdue -11.5
Iowa returns home for the first time after a three-game road trip that saw them earn their first Big Ten win of the season -- and also saw them get drilled by Rutgers. So, you know: some ups and downs there. Waiting for them at CHA? Oh, just the Big Ten's highest-ranked team in the red-hot Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue, ranked #3 in the traditional polls and #2 in the KenPom rankings, is riding a 14-game winning streak that's seen them torch many an unfortunate opponent.
The numbers suggest they should do the same to Iowa. Purdue ranks 6th in the nation in offensive efficiency and fifth in defensive efficiency, they're adept at scoring inside and out (Purdue is draining 42.6% of their 3s this year, an ominous stat considering Iowa routinely allows garbage-shooting teams to light it up from deep), and stellar at preventing opponents from getting good looks at the basket (opponents are making just 40.5% of their 2-point shots against Purdue this year). Name a stat and they're at least pretty good at it, if not excellent. They're led by Big Ten Player of the Year contender Carsen Edwards, a do-everything guard who excels on both ends of the court, but their entire starting lineup is excellent, including Dakota Mathias, Vince Edwards, and the hulking Isaac Haas. They have quality on the bench, too, including giant Haas replacement-in-training Matt Haarms and guard Ryan Cline.
The case for an Iowa win certainly doesn't come from numbers -- Vegas them as an 11.5 point underdog and KenPom gives them just an 11% chance to win today. If there is a case to be made, it's in the intangibles. Maybe Purdue is sleepy for an 11 AM tip-off at Carver. Maybe Iowa is fed up after getting housed by Rutgers. Maybe the spirit of Chris Street fills the Iowa team and CHA for today's Chris Street Memorial Game, the 25th anniversary of his tragic death.
The usual rules apply.