For the second straight year, Purdue finishes the non-conference without a loss, a very impressive feat considering the quality of competition for them. They beat teams such as Gonzaga, Marquette, Tennessee, Xavier, Alabama, and Arizona to have arguably the best overall resume right now.
Still, conference play can be a tougher deal, as Northwestern has already proven against this team. But for the most part, Purdue was able to have not too much trouble in Big Ten play. The first opponent was Maryland on the road, a team that had its fair share of struggles in the first two months. It continued, as Purdue beat them by 14 points, led by 23 points and 12 rebounds from Zach Edey.
The real game was on Friday, hosting Illinois in a top-10 matchup. With the Illini without 20 ppg scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. (suspension), the Boilermakers had a big edge. And withstanding a late push by the underdogs, Purdue was in control from start to finish, winning 83-78. Trey Kaufman-Renn had a career performance, going for 21 points, while Lance Jones had 17.
At this point, Purdue is just keeping up its run for having the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, along with clinching another Big Ten conference championship. They take on two teams looking to pull off the upset next in Nebraska and Penn State.