Two of the Big Ten's best get together in Columbus as Purdue visits Ohio State with a share of first place on the line for the Buckeyes. They've already met once this season with Evan Turner (32 points, nine rebounds) leading OSU to the 70-66 win in West Lafayette. But after dropping the following game at Northwestern, Matt Painter's squad has won seven straight to move into a tie in the loss column with Michigan State and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are also playing well, having won six straight and their last nine Big Ten games so something's got to give.
Injuries can be the great equalizer in sports, turning a race that looks to be all but over into a contested sprint to the finish line. Michigan State can attest to that, with point guard Kalin Lucas (ankle) going down against Wisconsin and being unable to play at Illinois in a second consecutive loss on Saturday night. Tuesday's matchup is in East Lansing but none easier, especially if Lucas is unable to go.
Game of the Night: No. 16 Wisconsin at No. 10 Purdue
Two big games in the ACC and another in the Big Ten highlight Thursday's schedule. Wake Forest visits Atlanta in a homecoming game for Al-Farouq Aminu, but he and the rest of the Demon Deacon frontcourt will have their hands full. Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal and Zachary Peacock make up one of the more talented frontcourt trios in the nation and lead a Yellow Jacket squad that can expect multiple NBA scouts every night. But that has little bearing on whether or not Paul Hewitt's team wins games, with the backcourt being the key.
Currently looking to snap a three-game losing streak the University of Connecticut basketball team will tackle their upcoming schedule without head coach Jim Calhoun, who is taking a medical leave of absence.
Tuesday lacks a marquee matchup the caliber of Monday's Texas/Kansas State game but there are some interesting games that could have an impact come Selection Sunday. Purdue hits the road with hopes of ending their three-game losing streak and they'll take on an Illinois squad that saw its' undefeated conference start come to a screeching halt. The big men will likely tell the tale of this contest; JaJuan Johnson's play of late has been well-documented and the Illini look to Mike Tisdale and Mike Davis for their interior baskets.
In winning their first fourteen games of the season the Purdue Boilermakers did nothing to dispel the notion that they had a very good chance of getting to the Final Four. But while a record of 14-3 is nothing to disregard there have been some worrisome issues for Matt Painter's squad, who dropped their third consecutive game on Saturday. And the biggest issue may be the tallest man in the rotation, JaJuan Johnson. Over the last three games the junior has averaged just six points per game and struggled through eighteen foul-plagued minutes in Evanston before fouling out.
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