Purdue at Michigan St
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Where: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Much has yet to be settled with only two games remaining before next week’s Big Ten Tournament, especially at the top of the conference. Two of the six teams that have a realistic shot at locking down the league’s four double-byes square off for the first time this season when Purdue visits Michigan State on Wednesday. The Boilermakers sit in sole possession of third place, one game behind Maryland and one game ahead of the Spartans.
Purdue missed out on a chance to solidify its spot for the conference tournament after dropping a 65-61 decision on Sunday at No. 25 Ohio State, falling to the team that is tied with Michigan State – a setback that could loom large in the likely event a tiebreaker is needed. The Spartans suffered their second straight loss in Sunday’s 68-61 defeat at No. 5 Wisconsin, but haven’t dropped three in a row since Feb. 19-March 2, 2013. Michigan State can only hope to approach the success it enjoyed the last time it faced the Boilermakers, who allowed the Spartans to hit a school-record 17 3-pointers in a 94-79 road victory last February.TV:
8 p.m. ET, Big Ten NetworkABOUT PURDUE (19-10, 11-5 Big Ten):
The loss at Ohio State not only damaged the Boilermakers’ potential seeding in the Big Ten Tournament, but also marked the third time in 10 defeats they have surrendered a lead of at least 12 points. Purdue is one of the most offensively balanced teams in the country as eight players have led the team in scoring, eight players have paced the team in rebounding and nine players have led the team in assists. A.J. Hammons (11.4 points, league-high 2.9 blocks) has apparently overcome the inconsistency that plagued him throughout his first two seasons, scoring in double figures eight times and averaging 3.6 rejections over his last 10 contests.
ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (19-10, 10-6):
Despite dropping two straight conference games for the first time in a year, the Spartans aren’t struggling from long range, shooting 22-of 49 in those losses after a 9-of-17 effort versus the Badgers. Coach Tom Izzo brought Branden Dawson (12 points, league-high 9.6 rebounds) off the bench Sunday after hinting his energy level wasn’t acceptable in the previous game and the senior forward disappointed with four points and a season-low two boards in 21 minutes. "He's (needs) to figure out what he's doing and where he's going. He sometimes makes some poor choices and poor decisions, and sooner or later you've got to grow up," Izzo told the Detroit Free Press.
1. Michigan State has won six straight meetings - all by at least 13 points.
2. Purdue has outshot its opponent in all eight Big Ten road games (4-4).
3. Izzo said Monday the Spartans could get freshman G Javon Bess (foot), who has been out since Feb. 1, back before the end of the season.PREDICTION:
Michigan State 71, Purdue 65
Stats and Records