The Big Ten championship game sees an unlikely pairing as the top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers (28-5) will square off with the 10th-seeded Penn State Nittany Lions (22-12). This game will take place at the United Center, with tipoff scheduled for 3:30 pm ET.
The Boilermakers come into this one as the favorite. They are -260 to win, while the Nittany Lions’ moneyline sits at +210. The spread features Penn State as 5.5-point underdogs (-102), and the over/under for total points is 135.5 (-110).
Regular Season Matchups
These two teams squared off two times, with Purdue winning both matchups. The first game, back on January 8, saw Purdue win 76-63. In the second matchup, on February 1, Purdue won 80-60.
In the most recent game, the Nittany Lions were led by Seth Lundy, who scored 18 points and six rebounds. Jalen Pickett and Mikey Henn combined for 23.
In the win, Purdue was led by Masong Gillis, who scored 29 points. Big man Zach Edey had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Penn State Looking For Upset To Guarantee A Ticket To The Dance
At 22-12, the Nittany Lions have had a solid season, but they would really love to solidify their ticket to the dance with an upset win over the top-ranked Boilermakers. They will get their chance to do so Sunday afternoon.
Penn State ranks 135th in the nation in scoring, averaging 72.4 points per game. They are led by senior guard Jalen Pickett, who is averaging 17.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
The Nittany Lions live and die by the three. They rank third in the nation, averaging 10.6 threes per game.
On the defensive side, they rank 114th in the nation, allowing opponents an average of 68.3 points per game.
Purdue Looks To Solidify Themselves As Conference’s Best
At 28-5 overall and 15-5 in the conference, the Purdue Boilermakers have been the best team in the Big Ten all season long. Ranked fifth in the nation, Purdue will look to cement their standings as the Big Ten’s best Sunday against a Penn State they have handled twice already.
Purdue’s offense ranks 116th in the country, averaging 73.1 points per game. Zach Edey has been one of the nation’s best big men, leading the team in scoring with an average of 21.7 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game.
The Boilermakers are elite on the defensive end. In terms of scoring defense, they rank 17th overall, allowing opponents just 62.6 points per game.
Take Purdue To Win And Cover
With the run they have been on, you can’t discount Penn State pulling off an upset. To do so, though, they are going to have to play flawlessly and shoot absolutely lights out from behind the arc.
The more realistic outcome is that Purdue will do what it has done all season and wear the Nittany Lions down on both sides of the floor. Pubrdue should absolutely dominate the interior and the boards, leaving little margin for error for Penn State.
Take Purdue to both win and to cover the 5.5-point spread (-120).