Saturday, February 2, 2013

Basketball Preview: Purdue at Northwestern - February 2nd - 12:00 pm - ESPN2

I'm not quite ready to write a post discussing the IU game.  It's just so disgusting to think about.  But I need to post this preview before the Boilers actually face Northwestern in Evanston on Saturday afternoon, a game they desperately need to write the ship.  This will be a huge moment for Purdue - they'll either crumble for the remainder of the season, having been deflated so badly, or they'll rise back up, brush off the horrible loss to Indiana, and continue to develop.  I obviously hope it's the latter, both to see the Boilers succeed, but also to make sure that they don't give more power to the Hoosiers than they deserve.

Not quite sure what Bill Carmody is doing.
I don't think I want to know.
At least no one thinks he's a sleazy scumbag.

Why Purdue Will Win
If the Boilers can't get motivated to win after being curb-stomped by Indiana, then they don't deserve to play basketball anymore.  Now that doesn't mean they'll win, just that there will be effort shown, unlike Wednesday night. We could all see how pissed AJ Hammons was, putting up a simply amazing performance while his teammates almost created a vacuum with their massive sucking, so I expect him to keep up the effort and attitude and have another great game against Northwestern.  The Wildcats center, Alex Olah, is nothing to worry about or slow down Hammons.  If Purdue can hit a few shots from outside to handle the Wildcat zone defense, it'll open things up inside.  Maybe we'll see Donnie Hale have another nice game off the bench hitting jumpers from the elbow while also working inside, or a fatigued Northwestern team (they actually played hard for a full 40 minutes earlier this week) will give in to the Boiler slashers.

Why Northwestern Will Win
Even though Northwestern isn't a particularly good team, especially since losing Drew Crawford for the season back in December, they are still a tough win on the road.  Their zone defense can drive a team crazy, especially a sloppy, undisciplined one like Purdue.  On the offensive side, while they won't put up lots of points, Reggie Hearn always has the potential to go off, although at 6-4 he's the type of guard the Boilers can actually shut down, if they're working on defense.  The Wildcats are averaging less than 55 per game over the last six games, but they were able to hold Minnesota to only 48 points and Illinois to 54 on the road.  On a neutral court, ignoring the recent IU loss, I'd pick Purdue nine times out of ten, but I think the home court advantage and Hoosier Hangover will be a little too much on Saturday.

One thing you absolutely need to know before the game 
This game is going to be brutally ugly, in my opinion.  If you think the Iowa game was boring in the first half, try not to take an afternoon nap on Saturday when watching this one.  Purdue will have lots of trouble with the Wildcat zone, and unless someone gets unexpectedly hot from long range (cough - DJ where are you? - cough), points are going to be rare.  So be sure to get a good night's sleep, drink some coffee, eat some chocolate, or else you may fall asleep on the couch.  Or, if you're like me, you can just keep yourself awake by yelling at the TV.

Our Picks - We like to think we're better than Vegas (let's be honest, that's just Erik).  So throughout the season, we'll be "betting" a whole dollar amount versus the spread between $1 and $32, but we can't repeat the same value twice. The spread for this game is Northwestern by 1.5 points.

Erik's Bet: $4
Erik's Pick: Purdue 55 - Northwestern 51

Kirk's Bet: $9
Kirk's Pick: Northwestern 60 - Purdue 58

Erik +225 (17-6 Against The Spread)
Kirk -163 (8-15 Against The Spread)

Values already bet
Erik 2-7, 9-15, 17, 21, 23-28, 30-32
Kirk 9-32


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