2. Purdue (15-2)
For most of this season, Purdue has looked like the best team in the nation. They pulled out three great wins at Maui and have beaten several other top-level teams. Matt Painter’s squad is looking to put last March’s failure far behind them, but questions still linger after some of their performances this season.
Far past December’s upset loss at Northwestern, Purdue faltered on the road in Big Ten play for a second time, losing 88-72 at Nebraska back on Tuesday. Mason Gillis had 16 off the bench while Zach Edey had 15 points and 7 rebounds, but the Cornhuskers shot the cover off the ball, handing the Boilermakers another road loss. The result this weekend was far better, as Purdue won 95-78 over Penn State. It was another classic effort from Edey, who had 30 points and 20 rebounds in a masterful performance.
Things are looking great in Purdue this year, but that’s not the whole story. Edey has been dynamic and this roster is full of talent, but the Boilermakers have now dropped two winnable road games in conference play. There will be more challenging road games ahead, including at Indiana and Iowa this week. Will Purdue continue to bounce back and prove their talent or are further slip-ups looming?