2. Purdue (18-2)
The people in West Lafayette are tired of talking about Fairleigh Dickinson, but they’re going to have to keep hearing it until this year’s Tournament tips off. The Boilermakers were certainly one of the nation’s top teams last season and might be even better this year, with Zach Edey looking like the national player of the year yet again.
The Boilermakers aren’t at the top of the Big Ten standings, with that pair of tough road losses earlier in the season, but do sit in a great position, especially after this week’s results. In their lone contest of the week, Purdue welcomed Michigan to town and sent them packing in a hurry, securing a 99-67 victory. The Boilermakers had one of their best offensive showings in recent memory, getting 24 points from Lance Jones and double-doubles from both Edey and Braden Smith (11 points, 10 assists).
This team is not backing down from anybody. It’s not all about Edey; there’s a phenomenal cast and crew on this Purdue squad. Purdue proved that with a magnificent run through nonconference play and continue to be one of the nation’s strongest teams in recent weeks. A Sunday matchup at Rutgers could be intriguing, though the eyes will actually be on a trip to Madison one week after that.