#18 Michigan State at #13 Purdue
The proud #18 Michigan State Spartans (12-6) just might have played the toughest non-conference schedule in NCAA college basketball this season and, while that strength of schedule is great for an RPI rating, all those losses against top ranked teams just might cost the Spartans a bid in the tournament.
Michigan State, earlier this season, lost to Connecticut, Duke, Syracuse, and Texas before conference play began but their losses to Penn State and Illinois might really sting come tournament time. The Spartans look to rebound from a 71-62 to the Illini as they face another stiff challenge in #13 Purdue (16-3).
The Spartans have been challenged offensively all season and are led by senior guards Kalin Lucas (14.7) and Durrell Summers (14.1) but have struggled to find any depth beyond their two stars.
#13 Purdue, on the other hand, has been dominated in scoring by two playmakers, senior big man JaJuan Johnson (20.5) and senior guard E’Twaun Moore (17.6). The combo has worked well for the Boilermakers as they have forged a 5-1 record in the Big Ten, just a game behind Ohio State.
Purdue hung on to defeat Penn State 63-62, avoiding three straight losses, and must face a hungry Michigan State group looking to knock-off a ranked opponent. Upset is a real possibility in this game.
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