Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Men's BB: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers (Take Two) VS.

GAME INFO: Wed., Jan 30, 2008 - 6:05 CST - Mackey Arena; West Lafayette, IN
IOWA: 10-11 (3-5); RPI: 152 / Purdue: 15-5 (6-1); RPI: 57

TV COVERAGE: Big Ten Network - DIRECTV (Ch. 220) / DISH Network (Ch. 439) - Tom Hamilton and Todd Mitchell will call the action.
LINE - Purdue is a 10 point favorite at home; 119.5 is the over/under.


By now we know what we are going to get with this Purdue team - quickness, high energy, terrific 3 point play, extremely tough extending D, and great coaching. Still, this Purdue team is young. Very young. How young is very young? Let's just say of 341 D-1 teams in the nation, there are 329 that have more experience.

Last time out, Iowa gave Purdue the game. It was a game the Hawks really should have won by all intents and purposes... but they didn't. Iowa did not play well the first time these two teams played. If the Hawkeyes can come out and play like they have shown they can, there's no reason they can't beat the Boilers in West Lafayette. One thing Purdue has going for them is that they don't have a "go to" guy. On any given night, anyone can put up a bucket load of points.

Iowa has won 6 out of the last 9 against Purdue, as well 3 out the last 5 games overall on the year. The Hawkeyes have recently moved up to #10 in the nation in Scoring Defense, Purdue isn't far behind at #30. Purdue, on the other hand, is red hot, knocking off Wisconsin at home and riding a 5 game win streak (and winners in 8 out of their last 9).

Purdue's 15-5 record is a bit of a misnomer, however. Although they do have 15 wins, their RPI is one of the lowest for any team with that many wins. Purdue has been in bottom half in regards to SOS in Big Ten games only, while Iowa has had the #1 SOS in Big Ten games only. Granted, Purdue has only lost one game at home and that was to Wofford. I am not denying the fact that Purdue is playing some fantastic ball (evident in the win over Wisky this past weekend). The analysts on the Big Ten Network were talking about Purdue contending for the Big Ten title... that just blows my mind.

Here's how I see the Big Ten, my supposed "Big Ten Power Rankings", if you will:

Indiana (=)
Michigan State (=)
Wisconsin (-)

Ohio State (+)
Purdue (+)
Minnesota (-)

Iowa (=)
Illinois (=)
Michigan (-)
Penn State (-)
Northwestern (=)

Again, I am not trying to hate on Purdue, I think they are a terrific, terrific team. Even after the win against the Badgers, I still need to see more from this team to prove me wrong. In my opinion, they are too young to sustain what they have going on right now. I think Iowa is the team to knock them off their current winning streak.

Keys to the Game for Iowa
1.) Get a hand in the face of the three point shooters, over-extend the defense if you have to.
2.) Make Grant beat you off the dribble.
3.) Put a body on Hummel.
4.) Pound the ball down low with Cyrus Tate.
5.) Limit turnovers and offensive rebounds. The first point Iowa struggles at, but the second point Iowa does well (20th in the nation in opponents' O Boards allowed)

If Iowa executes correctly in this game, they can win it. This isn't a match-up where Iowa is severely out-manned like the games on the road vs. Ohio St or Indiana. Iowa matches up very well with Purdue. It will be close, close game, in my opinion, perhaps even one that goes into OT.

Iowa - 58
Purdue - 56

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