Northwestern (18-4, 7-2) at Purdue (17-5, 6-3)
When: Wednesday, February 1st 2017
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: Big Ten Network
The Northwestern Wildcats continue their quest towards an NCAA Tournament berth when they visit the Purdue Boilermakers on Wednesday night. Northwestern (18-4) is off to their best 22-game start in school history and appears to be headed to their first ever Big Dance in March. The Wildcats have reeled off six consecutive victories – their longest streak since 1922-23. Junior point guard Bryant McIntosh is the quarterback of the offense and ranks third on the team in scoring (12.8) and first in assists (5.7). Fellow guard Scottie Lindsey averages a team-best 15.4 points while sophomore forward Vic Law contributes 14.0 a game. Northwestern, who trails only Maryland and Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings, will play both those squads later this month. Senior guard Sanjay Lumpkin (6.9 points) scored a season-best 15 in Sunday’s 68-55 win over Indiana after failing to reach double digits in the previous eight games. Mackey Arena has not been a fun place for Northwestern over the years, losing 39 of the 44 games they have played there.
Purdue is coming off an 83-80 loss at Nebraska and trails Northwestern by one game in the conference standings. Sophomore power forward Caleb Swanigan leads the nation with 18 double-doubles and ranks second nationally in rebounding (12.7 per game) for the Boilermakers. Swanigan is in the running for Big Ten Player of the Year and is averaging 18.5 points while knocking down 50% of his 44 three-point attempts for a team with five double-digit scorers. Junior point guard Dakota Mathias, who scored 19 points and made five 3’s in the loss to Nebraska has made a team-leading 49 three-pointers while averaging 10 points per game. Junior center Isaac Haas is shooting 62.3% while averaging 13.4 points, and junior forward Vince Edwards (11.5) and freshman guard Carsen Edwards (10.9) also are scoring in double figures. The Boilermakers won last season’s lone meeting and have won seven of the past 10 matchups. Purdue will play at first-place Maryland on Saturday.
Northwestern might be playing above their heads, but they shouldn’t be getting nine points in any Big Ten game right now. Purdue should come away with the victory, but not by double-digits. Take the points.
Pick: Northwestern +9