With a month remaining until Selection Sunday, Purdue men’s basketball’s push for its second-consecutive Big Ten regular season championship is getting closer and closer to its destination.
In their lone game last week, the No. 2 Boilermakers blew past rival Indiana 79-59 on Saturday, giving them a 2-0 record against the Hoosiers this regular season, with those victories coming by a combined 41 points. In the second of those two wins, reigning national player of the year Zach Edey had a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds, along with his first-career 3-pointer.
With its win, Purdue’s lead in the Big Ten standings grew to 2 1/2 games as the teams closest to them stumbled.
Wisconsin, which had been the closest team in the conference to the Boilermakers for much of the season, has unraveled in recent weeks: The Badgers have four consecutive losses after a 16-4 start to their season. While their first two losses of that skid were understandable — on the road against a frisky Nebraska team and at home against Purdue — their two losses last week were a bit more inexplicable. Wisconsin fell 72-68 to a Michigan team that had lost five in a row and 10 of its past 11 before getting blown out 78-56 against a Rutgers team that entered the matchup 12-10.
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With those setbacks, the Badgers risk a steep drop in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll, if they even remain in it at all. Elsewhere, No. 12 Illinois lost its lone game of the week, an 88-80 defeat on the road at the hands of a Michigan State team fighting for its NCAA Tournament life. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Illini.
For weeks, that trio has been the Big Ten’s lone representation in the polls, but a newcomer may soon join them when the polls are released Monday. Northwestern, which was eighth last week among teams outside the top 25 that were receiving votes, won both of its games last week, defeating…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/college-basketball-rankings-where-big-110913763.html
Author : Detroit Free Press
Publish date : 2024-02-12 11:09:13
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