#19 Purdue Basketball vs #9 Maryland: Preview, Prediction

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#19 Purdue basketball heads into a Saturday matinee big enough that it feels like a football game. Think Saturday afternoon, 50ish degrees, small town Indiana, a clash of two top 20 teams- it’s almost like Notre Dame taking on USC…well, that’s a stretch, but you get the idea.

Yes, Purdue basketball is a zillion times more relevant than Purdue football, so the analogy loses some credence there, but it’s a definite “circle the date on the calendar” kind of affair vs Maryland in West Lafayette.

purdue basketball

The #9 Terrapins boast the preseason Big Ten player of the year candidate in Melo Trimble, and he dressed the part when he wore socks emblazoned with “Mr. Sparkle” from The Simpsons to Big Ten Media Day. Trimble is good, but he’s very up and down, and has suffered some awful shooting slumps this season.

Nevertheless, the Terps are still a national title contender, and many picked them to win it all in the preseason. Remember, the last Big Ten team to win it all (2000 Michigan State) had some WTF moments during the regular season too, including a loss to Wright State.

The Purdue in arena game day experience is top ten nationally. It’s better than taking in a game at Indiana. (Read the travel piece here)

MELO-TRIMBLE

SPREAD: N/A as of yet, will update when it becomes available

TV: 4 PM EST on ESPN with Dave O’Brien, Dick Vitale and Allison Williams on the call. Here’s a link to much more on Allison Williams, who is not the famous actress Allison Williams. 

allison-williams

allison-williams

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Factor: 

It’s time to call out Maryland for screwing up Rutgers vs Minnesota (“El Assico” as Hammer and Rails calls it) a week ago. Because of the Terps’ inexplicable loss to Minnesota, we didn’t get an all 0-14 battle where one team was guaranteed to get their first Big Ten win. Well get ready because El Assico II is next weekend, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with Big Ten scheduling these days. You have two Rutgers-Minnesota games instead of a second Big Ten Hoops El Classico, a.k.a. Purdue-Indiana. 

Thanks Terrapins, now go to your room without any dinner and think about what you’ve done. The tournament selection committee should give you nothing higher than a #4 seed now for your crimes.

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If that Maryland shows up, then Purdue wins this one by 20.

Match-up to Watch: Diamond Stone vs Caleb Swanigan

Play Nelly’s “Air Force Ones,” cuz it’s a match-up of “big boy!” “big boy!” You have two freshmen true fours going at it who just played in the McDonald’s All-American game nine months ago. Both Swanigan and Stone came to college with NBA sized bodies, but Stone is the only one of the pair ready to jump for the NBA at the end of the season.

So how is Caleb Swanigan coming along in West Lafayette his rookie year? Well, he’s averaging as close to double figure scoring as possible without being north of 10.0 ppg. More impressive is his 8.5 rebounds per game. He’s had 7 double doubles this season, but unfortunately none of come since January 21st vs Ohio State.

caleb-swanigan

We just did an in depth profile of Biggie Swanigan that you can check out at this link.

Prediction: Purdue 77, Maryland 69

This Purdue basketball team resembles a #4 or #5 seed kind of team and we’ve detailed that over here. Look for the Boilers to protect home court and get another resume win supplementing the home win over Michigan State.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.

He also consistently appears on numerous talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

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