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Previewing #25 Michigan vs #3 Purdue

Michigan, Zavier Simpson

Last time Michigan & Purdue met, the Boilermakers escaped Crisler Arena with a one-point win over the Wolverines.

Let’s review what’s happened since then.

No. 25 Michigan (17-5)

After the loss to Purdue, Michigan has had an encouraging stretch, sans a blowout loss to Nebraska on the road:

  • 82-72 Win at Michigan State
  • 68-67 Win vs Maryland
  • 52-72 Loss at Nebraska
  • 62-47 Win vs Rutgers

The Wolverines had a great win on the road against top 5 team and rival Michigan State in a game they were very much the underdog. Then they had an embarrassing 20-point loss at Nebraska.

Losing to Purdue almost certainly had an affect on Isaiah Livers getting the starting nod in their next game against MSU, which was something Brandon Justice and I had been hoping for:

Good thing that Head Coach John Beilein saw Brandon’s tweet and changed his starting lineup before the MSU game.

No. 3 Purdue (19-2)

Since their win in Ann Arbor, Purdue has ripped off three straight wins:

  • 81-47 Win at Minnesota
  • 78-50 Win vs Wisconsin
  • 87-64 Win at Iowa

As you can see, the Boilermakers have been obliterating Big Ten opponents. With their 23-point win over Iowa being their smallest margin of victory, Purdue will be riding a hot streak heading into their 2nd meeting with the Wolverines.

Good news

For the Wolverines, there is good news heading into their game against the No. 3 team in the country.

Both Jordan Poole and Isaiah Livers have become more implemented into the system. Despite being freshman, the two have proven they are potent weapons for this Michigan team. Last time they played Purdue, Livers had 10 points on 4 of 4 shooting and Poole had 8 points, which is more points than 7 minutes he played.

Michigan is coming off 3 days rest, which is the most they have had since the 3 days between their first meeting with Purdue and their win against Michigan State.

In their last meeting, Isaac Haas scored 17 points. The good news is that only 5 of those points came in the second half. Hopefully these adjustments can carry over into this game, as we saw Michigan shut down MSU big Nick Ward.

Bad News

Purdue has not slowed down. The Boilermakers haven’t lost a game since Nov. 23 when they lost to Western Kentucky – They’ve obviously figured things out since then.

This game is being played at Purdue. Of Michigan’s five losses, 1 was at the Maui Invitational, 1 was the game against Purdue, and the other 3 were on games on the road.

My Take

In my opinion, Michigan is in a better spot as a team than when they last played the Boilermakers, even with the bad loss to Nebraska. At the same time, Purdue has been destroying everyone they have been playing.

It seems like we may be in for another close one. Thankfully, that would mean that we get more Jordan Poole bench reactions:

Staff Predictions:

  • Brandon Justice: 79-68 Purdue
  • Landon Dillion: 74-70 Michigan
  • LGHail: 77-68 Purdue
  • Eric Coughlin: 77-72 Purdue

 

 

About the author

Landon Dillion
Basketball Reporter at The Wolverine Lounge | | + posts

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