NCAA Basketball Prediction: Purdue Boilermakers vs Indiana Hoosiers
Sunday, March 04, 2012
by Mike Stewart
Saturday's in-state showdown will have a direct impact on Big Ten Tournament seeding as Purdue and No. 20 Indiana Hoosiers are tied for fifth in the conference.
The loser will be locked in to the No. 6 seed, while Indiana can move into the No. 4 spot with a victory and a Wisconsin loss against Illinois.
The Hoosiers earned a 78-61 road victory over the Purdue Boilermakers on Feb. 4 behind 23 points from sophomore Victor Oladipo. Free-throw shooting could be a key in the rematch - Indiana is first in the league at 75.8 percent, while Purdue is last at 65.3 percent.
Purdue Boilermakers (20-10): The Boilermakers are 3-1 with three consecutive double-digit wins since senior guard Kelsey Barlow was dismissed from the team, including a 75-61 triumph at then-No. 13 Michigan. Purdue has done an outstanding job of avoiding mistakes, leading the nation in assist-turnover ratio (1.57) and turnovers per game (8.7) while also pacing the Big Ten in turnover margin (plus-4.5). Senior forward Robbie Hummel leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference with 16.1 points and 7.0 rebounds.
Indiana Hoosiers (23-7): The Hoosiers have been outstanding at home, defeating three top five opponents (Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan State) in a season for the first time in school history. Freshman forward Cody Zeller has been the major difference-maker, leading Indiana with 15.5 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 63.4 percent from the floor. Indiana leads the conference in points per game (77.3), field-goal percentage (49.0) and 3-point percentage (42.7), and they are generating more points per game at the foul line (18.6) than any BCS conference team.
1. Purdue leads the all-time series 112-85, and had won five straight meetings before last month's victory by the Hoosiers.
2. The Boilermakers have emerged victorious in their last two trips to Bloomington, including 72-61 last season.
3. The game features the top three 3-point shooters in the Big Ten - Indiana's Matt Roth (55.4 percent) and Jordan Hulls (47.9) and Purdue's D.J. Byrd (45.2).
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Hoosiers 80, Boilermakers 68.
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