No. 3-Seed Purdue to Face Rutgers in B1G Tourney on Friday Night

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 76-69 on Thursday night, meaning that the No. 3-seed Boilermakers will face Rutgers in the late game on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament. It’s certainly the matchup they would like for their first game because this is a team Purdue has already beaten this season.

Purdue coming into the game beat Minnesota on Senior Day, by a score of 84-60. It was the perfect sendoff for the Seniors at Mackey, with a big win in a large part due to Dakota Mathias in the second half. Mathias was on fire for the Boilers, finishing with a game-high 25 points on 9/11 shooting from the field and 7/9 from distance. In addition, he would add 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks for an all-around dominating performance. After the game, each of the four Seniors were honored with a video tribute and each had a speech for their time at Purdue.

Rutgers, on the other hand, beat Minnesota 65-54 on day one of the Tourney, and Indiana 76-69 on day two of the Tourney to advance to this point. In their win over IU, the shooting was very magnificent, going 58 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. They would outscore the Hoosiers by 6 in the second half, and 4-0 down the stretch for a knockout punch. The numbers on paper may have looked good for Rutgers, but it was realistically two bad teams playing in a barn-burner to have to face a far superior Purdue.

Team Statistics

PPG: Purdue 81.7, Rutgers 64.5
PA: Purdue 64.9, Rutgers 64.2
FG%: Purdue 49.6%, Rutgers 40.0%
RPG: Purdue 35.3, Rutgers 39.1
APG: Purdue 17.1, Rutgers 9.9
BPG: Purdue 5.3, Rutgers 4.2
SPG: Purdue 6.2, Rutgers 7.1

Purdue’s Projected Starting Lineup

G: P.J. Thompson
G: Carsen Edwards
F: Dakota Mathias
F: Vince Edwards
C: Isaac Haas

Rutgers’ Projected Starting Lineup

G: Corey Sanders
G: Mike Williams
F: Issa Thiam
F: Shaquille Doorson
C: Eugene Omoruyi

Bottom Line

This is a better Rutgers team than Purdue saw twice earlier this season, but on paper and in the game, Purdue has a big advantage. The Boilermakers are just too good with too much depth to lose the first game in the Big Ten Tournament. There’s a reason why they have rattled off three straight wins to close out the season after one rough stretch. Expect Purdue to win and move on to the to next round to face either Penn State or Ohio State on Saturday. Tipoff time is at 8:55 PM Eastern on the Big Ten Network. Boiler Up!


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