Wisconsin’s quest for its first Big Ten tournament title in seven years is off to a solid start after a gritty 11-point victory over Michigan in the quarterfinals on Friday. The Badgers will look to seal a spot in the finals when they square off with the Purdue Boilermakers who are coming off a tough win over Penn State.
Who holds the edge in this semifinal clash? Read on below for a breakdown of this Big Ten matchup and while you’re at it, you can check out our preview of the SEC semifinal between Auburn and No. 1 Kentucky here.[sc:MarchMadness ]
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Betting Preview
Where: United Center, Chicago
When: Saturday, March 14, 1:00 PM ET
Line: Purdue Boilermakers (+9.5) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (-9.5) – view all NCAA Basketball lines
Betting on the Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue’s NCAA tournament hopes got a huge boost Friday as they beat the Penn State Nittany Lions, 64-59, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tourney. It was the Boilermakers’ second consecutive win as they forged a semifinal showdown with top-seeded Wisconsin later today.
[sc:NCAAB240banner ]A.J. Hammons provided the spark for the Boilermakers, exploding for a season-high 23 points to go along with his nine rebounds and four blocks. Teammate Rapheal Davis (13 points) called Hammons a “game-changer” and he definitely was in this encounter as he totally dominated on both ends of the floor against Penn State.
Hammons has been playing well since being inserted in the lineup last January by coach Matt Painter. Since replacing 7-2 freshman Isaac Haas in the starting center position, Hammons has averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in the last 13 games.
It will be interesting to see, though, whether Painter will try to pair Hammons and Haas once again to counter Wisconsin’s size. They each scored 11 points in a 62-55 losing effort to the Badgers last January.
For Purdue to stand a chance against Wisconsin, the Boilermakers need to be aggressive right from the get-go and get to the foul line as quickly as possible. Purdue is 16-0 this season in games where it has made at least 17 free throws.
Purdue is 7-3 SU and ATS in its last 10 games.
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Betting on the Wisconsin Badgers
For Frank Kaminsky, surely nothing beats home.
The 7-foot senior overcame a sluggish start to power Wisconsin to a tough 71-60 win over the Michigan Wolverines in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament Friday. Kaminsky, a native of Lisle, Illinois, scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Badgers to their third consecutive win.
Kaminsky has been unstoppable during this stretch, averaging 19.7 points on 65.4% shooting (17 of 26) from the field. He will be licking his chops at the prospect of facing Purdue in the semifinals as he has fared extremely well against them in their only regular-season meeting this season.
Kaminsky bossed around the Purdue bigs, scoring 21 points and going 11 of 14 from the free throw line in a 62-55 win on January 7. In that game, the Badgers outscored the Boilermakers 25-3 at the charity stripe as they negated Purdue’s scorching-hot 51.0% field goal shooting as well as their 26-21 rebounding edge.
Expected to provide support for Kaminsky are Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes. They are averaging 13.1 PPG and 12.0 PPG respectively for the Badgers this season. Dekker had 17 points, six rebounds and six assists in the quarters against Michigan while Hayes chipped in 11 markers of his own and grabbed nine boards in that same game as well.
Wisconsin is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games.
Wisconsin (-9.5) wins, 70-59.[sc:NCAAB490Banner ]
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