The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Purdue Boilermakers meet up later today in Big Ten College Basketball action. The game is scheduled for a 5:15 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Currently the Betting Odds for the game have the Boilermakers listed as a solid favorite to win.
Purdue is a potential Big Ten bubble team for the NCAA Tournament and can't afford a loss here today against a poor Nebraska team. While the Cornhuskers opened the season inside the Top 25 nationally and was a potential title contender in the conference, they clearly were rated a bit high. Now the Huskers are spiraling out of control and have really looked like scoring points has been a problem.
The Boilermakers absolutely have to win this game. Purdue is tied for third place in the conference with an 8-4 record, sitting a half game behind Maryland. If the Boilers continue to win games on their schedule they're going to have a legitimate shot. They do have some really strange losses, though, including North Florida and Gardner Webb back toward the beginning of the season. The only way to help cancel those out is to continue picking up victories and beating the teams on their schedule.
But Matt Painter's team still has plenty of tough games on the schedule. Road games at Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan State plus a final home game against Illinois all will be tough battles for the Boilermakers, giving an added importance to today's game.
Nebraska's got two of the better scorers in the conference as Terran Petteway (18.8 ppg) and Shavon Shields (15.7 ppg) lead the Huskers. They are the only two in double figures on average for Nebraska and haven't been enough for the Huskers to win consistently in the conference season. And while they do have some nice wins (all coming at home), Nebraska has been dreadful on the road, winning just one of their eight games this season. The only win was over Florida State in the early part of the season.
Simply put, Purdue needs to win the game tonight. They're on the bubble and fighting for a potential tournament spot. A loss here to Nebraska wouldn't be good.
Free Pick: Purdue 69, Nebraska 60
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