Big Ten hoops before Christmas? Damn straight.
For the second straight season, No. 7 Michigan (7-0) opens conference play on the first weekend of December. Last year, it was a home tilt with Indiana. This year, it’s the other team from the Hoosier State — No. 19 Purdue (5-2) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The last five matchups between Matt Painter’s Boilermakers and John Beilein’s Wolverines have been live-action renditions of basketball chess.
- Feb. 25, 2017: Moritz Wagner goes ham from deep, shooting 4-of-8 from beyond en route to 24 points over Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan. Michigan wins 82-70.
- March 10, 2017: Haas forces Wagner into foul trouble. D.J. Wilson steps up with 26 points of his own in a 74-70 overtime triumph in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
- Jan. 9, 2018: Game tied 69-69 with six seconds left. Purdue’s Carsen Edwards misses jumper. Dakota Matthias knocks the ball out of bounds. Referee Gene Steratore says Charles Matthews actually tipped it. Foul leads to game-winning free throws from Haas. Purdue wins 70-69.
Did the ball go off of Charles Matthews in the last game against Purdue?— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 24, 2018
- Jan. 25, 2018: Beilein’s offense scorches the nets for 1.35 points a possession in West Lafayette. Only problem? Purdue manages 1.42. Final score 92-88.
- March 4, 2018: Wolverines take the rubber match, as Jon Teske finally proves a worthy counter to the 9-foot-8 ogre that is Isaac Haas.
Michigan wins 75-66 for its second straight Big Ten Tournament Championship.
What wrinkles are in store today? How does Painter generate points this time against the nation’s No. 1 defense? Can Beilein continue to motivate his team after two blowouts over recent national champions?
Comment, question, rant below in the game thread.