2. Purdue Boilermakers - 20-2 (9-2 Big Ten)
It’s been a fairly stressful week for Purdue, who had to take on two different kinds of tough tasks. One was against one of the best team defenses in NCAA Basketball, with the other was against one of the toughest players in the sport.
Up first was Rutgers on the road. It looked easy early on, as the Scarlet Knights couldn’t make a bucket. But once they could, it was a hard-fought game until the end. Purdue was able to hold on for the 68-60 victory, led by 26 points and 12 rebounds from Zach Edey and 19 points from Braden Smith.
The next game was an opportunity for revenge for the Boilermakers, taking on Boo Buie and Northwestern, who already have a win against them this season. At some points in the second half, it looked as if the Wildcats were going to pull off the upset. In the end, the game went to overtime, with Purdue finding a way to survive the upset bid with a 105-96 win. Edey had 30 points and 15 rebounds, while Lance Jones went for 26. Smith finished with a career-high 16 assists along with 11 points.
Up next for Purdue is a massive game at Wisconsin, with first place in the Big Ten standings on the line. After that is a battle with Indiana at home, a team that’s been reeling as of late.