The Buckeyes and Boilermakers tangle in a Big 10 matchup with Purdue looking to extend their school record 19-game win streak. Ohio State has overachieved this season and can move into a conference tie with Purdue with a road victory on Wednesday night. Big 10 Network Basketball Free Pick: Ohio St. at Purdue.
The longest active winning streak in Division I belongs to Purdue (-9.5, 146). However Ohio State has won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Boilermakers. First-year coach Chris Holtmann has Ohio State headed to the March Madness party. The invite is a given save a ridiculous meltdown in the team’s remaining six league affairs.
The Buckeyes are seriously dependent on big games from forward Keita Bates-Diop. The Ohio State frontcourt stalwart has earned Big 10 Player of the Week four times this season. But giving Bates-Diop excessive credit for his recent performance against Illinois would be a mistake. Bates Diop scored a career-high 35 points and pulled down a season-best 13 rebounds against the Fighting Illini.
The Buckeyes do have 11 conference wins but overall the Big 10 is soft. Of the school’s 20 victories only their “W” against Michigan State should be considered a signature win. And because of the recent performance by the Spartans the 80-64 win versus MSU in Columbus isn’t as strong as appeared on January 7th. Ohio State has lost five games this season, versus Gonzaga, Butler, Clemson, North Carolina and most recently a home defeat at the hands of Penn State.
Purdue is perfect in Big 10 play and outscore its opponents by more than 20 points per game on average. The Boilermakers own top scoring margin in Division I. Purdue is shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc this season which also tops the Division I charts and overall, according to most adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency charts, is the most balanced team in the college ranks.
Tackling the current Purdue player personnel at Mackey Arena takes a top performance from the visitor. Defense is still the top demand from head coach Holtmann but this is a squad that can score and do so from any position on the court. Purdue has shot nearly 50 percent from the field including their 42.7 percent from three-point land and have one of the top assist-to-turnover ratio’s in the country at 1.53.
Tonight’s Big 10 event at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette is Purdue’s to lose. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the Big 10 Network. The Boilermakers have won nine games by 25 or more points at home this season and have scored at least 70 points in 17 straight games. Consequently Purdue is the value-play tonight versus the overachieving Buckeyes.
Big 10 Network Basketball Free Pick: Ohio St. at Purdue
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