NCAA Basketball Pick: Nebraska vs. Purdue Big Ten Preview
The first round of the Big Ten Tournament kicks off on Thursday, and here at Bang the Book, we are looking at the college basketball odds for the last game on the docket at Bankers Life Fieldhouse between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Purdue Boilermakers.
The first season in the Big Ten wasn’t great for the Cornhuskers. They went just 4-14 in conference play, and the only team that they beat all year long that is going to be in the NCAA Tournament is the Indiana Hoosiers at home, and that came way back on January 18th. There have just been far too many inconsistent games for the Children of the Corn, especially on the offensive end of the court. That unit only scored 34 against the Michigan State Spartans, and there were a total of 12 games this year, all but one of which came in conference play, in which they scored 55 points or fewer. Needless to say, that isn’t going to cut it when you’ve got some of the best teams in the land in your league, and Nebraska paid the price with a ton of losses. This seems to be a game that is over its head as well, knowing that the Boilermakers absolutely clocked it just a few weeks ago at Mackey Arena. Bo Spencer is about the only hope that the Huskers have of the upset. He averaged 15.1 points per game to lead the team last year, and if he doesn’t have an absolutely enormous game, Nebraska will be headed home.
There is virtually no way that we see Purdue being left out of the NCAA Tournament, but this still isn’t a game that it should be losing if it wants to make sure that it is dancing next week. Robbie Hummel has gone through a heck of a career with two different knee rehabs. He is getting the job done in this, his final season for the Boilers though, leading the team in scoring at 16.8 points per game. Hummel leads an offense that is scoring 72.0 points per game, and really for the first time in the last few years, he is on a team that really feels like it has the goods to be able to beat some of the big boys in the dance. Road wins against teams like the Michigan Wolverines, Northwestern Wildcats, and Illinois Fighting Illini have really paved the way for a great end of the season, and there are also some other quality wins against the likes of the Iona Gaels, Temple Owls, and Miami Hurricanes. There are times that the Boilers have a hard time on the glass, knowing that there isn’t a heck of a lot of height on this team. Hummel is averaging 7.0 rebounds per game, but no one else on the squad is good for more than 3.7 rebounds on the average night.
The Final Word: Nebraska just doesn’t have the horses to stick around in this one. The team is going to have to hope that Purdue goes brutally cold from the outside and takes advantage on the glass. We just don’t see all of that going down. The Boilermakers have too much to play for to be challenged by, what we think is the worst team in the Big Ten.
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Purdue Boilermakers Pick: Purdue Boilermakers
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