Michigan Wolverines vs. Purdue Boilermakers Preview
Where: Verizon Center – Washington, District of Columbia
When: Friday, March 10, 2017, 12:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (21-11, 10-8 Big Ten)
Not even a near airplane disaster can derail Michigan’s march into the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Flying into town on the Pistons’ team jet only a few hours before tipoff because their original plane slammed through a fence during an aborted takeoff a day earlier, Michigan raced to an early double-digit lead Thursday and beat the Illinois Fighting Illini, 75-55, to reach the last eight of the Big Ten tourney.
Michigan coach John Beilein will look to earn his school-record 211th win when the Wolverines lock horns with top-seeded Purdue later today. For that to transpire, the Wolverines need to continue their excellent play on the offensive end. The Wolverines, who were forced to wear simple practice tank tops because of the plane incident, shot an incredible 53.6 percent from the field (30 of 56) against Illinois. Such was Michigan’s dominance on Thursday that they never trailed in the entire ballgame.
The Wolverines will fancy their chances of grabbing the shock victory against the Boilermakers as they have fared extremely well against them of late. Michigan defeated Purdue, 82-70, on February 25 in Ann Arbor. Moe Wagner starred for the Wolverines in that ballgame, scoring 22 of his 24 points in the first half. He’s averaging 12.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for Michigan this season.
Michigan is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games.
Betting on the Purdue Boilermakers (25-6, 14-4 Big Ten)
With a regular-season Big Ten championship already locked up, the Purdue Boilermakers will now focus their attention on winning just their second Big Ten Tournament title this week. The Boilermakers’ quest begins this afternoon when they square off with the resurgent Wolverines at the Verizon Center. This will just be their fourth meeting in the 20-year history of the Big Ten tournament. Purdue eased past Michigan, 76-59, in last year’s semifinals in Indianapolis.
For the Boilermakers to duplicate that feat, they will need to get solid production from Caleb Swanigan. The Big Ten Player of the Year sophomore power forward averaged 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game for the Boilermakers this season. He entered the postseason with an NCAA-best 25 double-doubles. It’s paramount for the Boilermakers that they establish their size advantage down low against the Wolverines. That proved troublesome, though, in their last meeting with Michigan with Swanigan being outplayed by Moe Wagner. In fact, the 6-foot-9 Swanigan and 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas combined to outscore Michigan big man Moe Wagner by just two points.
Coincidentally, that 82-70 loss to Michigan was Purdue’s lone double-digit defeat in its last 42 games. As that result shows, it will take a total team effort for Purdue to take down Michigan. Apart from Swanigan, the Boilermakers will also need their strong junior class of Haas, Vince Edwards, Dakota Mathias and P.J. Thompson to deliver against the Wolverines. They’re averaging a combined 42.3 points per game for Purdue this season.
Purdue is 8-2 SU and 5-3-2 ATS in its last 10 games.
Purdue (-3) books a place in the semis with a 70-63 win.
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