Purdue vs. Michigan Prediction, Game Preview

    Purdue vs. Michigan prediction and game preview. The Wolverines can strengthen their NCAA Tournament resume with a win over the Boilermakers on Saturday.

    February 24, 2017

    Purdue vs. Michigan prediction and game preview. The Wolverines can strengthen their NCAA Tournament resume with a win over the Boilermakers on Saturday.

    Purdue vs. Michigan Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Feb. 25 – 4 p.m. ET
    Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN2

    Maryland’s recent slide has put Purdue in control of its own fate for the Big Ten regular-season title that now appears to be a two-team race with Wisconsin. The Boilermakers have won six in a row after fending off a pesky Penn State team in Tuesday’s 74-70 overtime victory on the road. Their 3-point shooting saved them, as they went 12 of 26 from beyond the arc despite shooting 39.7 percent overall – the second time during their winning streak they’ve hit less than 40 percent from the field.

    Purdue (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten) had six players in double figures in a rare tough game for Caleb Swanigan, who finished with just 10 points and nine rebounds to snap a streak of nine straight with a double-double. He also had a season-low five field goal attempts as Vincent Edwards went 5 for 10 – including 3 of 4 from downtown – to finished with a team-high 14 points.

    Expect Swanigan to have much better numbers against a Michigan team that is 13th in the Big Ten in rebound differential per game at minus-1.6. The Wolverines (18-10, 8-7) will need to a better effort on the glass as they try to improve their NCAA Tournament resume prior to the conference tournament. They lost in overtime at Minnesota on Sunday and barely hung on for a 68-64 win at Rutgers on Wednesday.

    Zak Irvin had 16 points against the Scarlet Knights and has been effective lately, averaging 14.7 points over his last three after scoring 3.3 per game and shooting 12.9 percent over his previous four. Irvin scored 22 points in last year’s home game against Purdue, and the Wolverines sure could use another effort like that to help upset the Boilermakers.

    Purdue Wins If …

    … it controls the paint. Swanigan should be able to pick up his NCAA-leading 24th double-double against the Wolverines, whose leading rebounding is D.J. Wilson with 5.8 boards per game. Isaac Haas has been thriving lately, with the 7-foot-2 center averaging 18.3 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 71 percent over his last three games. Michigan will have a difficult time contain those two.

    Michigan Wins If …

    … Derrick Walton Jr. gets shots to fall. Walton went on a four-game tear at the end of January and into the beginning of this month when he averaged 23.5 points and hit 54.2 percent from 3-point range. But Walton is averaging just 11.3 points and shooting 30.3 percent from the floor over his last three games. Michigan will need to be clicking offensively, and Walton will have to be the catalyst.

    Matchup To Watch

    Swanigan vs. Moe Wagner

    The 6-foot-11 Wagner is much like Swanigan in that he can step away from the basket and be a threat from the outside. Where he might struggle when Swanigan gets physical on the boards and takes him into the paint.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Michigan -1
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Purdue vs. Michigan Prediction

    Purdue has won its last three road games by a combined 10 points, and it can expect to get another close battle from a hungry Michigan team. But just like those previous contests, the Boilermakers will hit clutch buckets down the stretch and pull out the victory.

    Purdue vs. Michigan final score prediction: Purdue 68, Michigan 64

    MORE: Livin’ B1G – Pursuit Of The Double Bye


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