The Michigan Wolverines are back in action on Friday night when they travel to Purdue for a road tilt with the Boilermakers. Typically speaking, this is a game that tests the resolve of the road team, but then the COVID-19 pandemic happened.
That is not to say that the Wolverines won’t still have their work cut out for them. Purdue is riding a four-game win streak into this game and is now pushing for a seat at the big kid’s table at the top of the conference. Purdue has three-straight top ten wins at home dating back to 2016.
This Michigan team has a different vibe about it, though. It was quickly able to put behind its first loss of the year last weekend with a blowout victory over Maryland on Wednesday night at Crisler.
Purdue is coming off of its best win of the season after a win over Ohio State earlier this week and has been once again riding big man Trevion Williams, who scored a combined 54 points in the meetings between these two teams last year. How he matches up against freshman center Hunter Dickinson — who has hit a bit of a freshman wall over the last three games — might be the matchup to watch in this one.
This could also be a game that comes down to the backcourt for each team. Purdue has standouts in Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr., but also a pair of talented freshmen in Brandon Newman and Jaden Ivey, the latter of which hit the game-winner at Ohio State the other night.
Friday night’s upset attempt from Purdue may hinge on how it shoots from the outside. They are coming off of a game where they shot 25 percent from three. That combined with shutting down Michigan from inside might be the recipe they need to have a chance in this game.
Anytime you step away from Crisler there is a massive target on your back. This applies tenfold when going into Mackey Arena. Matt Painter will have his guys ready to play, but this feels like a game that Michigan only loses with an effort like the one at Minnesota. The Williams-Dickinson matchup will be one to watch, but it feels like the Wolverines have the advantage everywhere else.
Prediction: Michigan 80, Purdue 69
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