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Preview: Indiana Hoosiers Host Rival Purdue Boilermakers

February 15th, 2013 at 3:47 PM
By Evan Reller

It hasn't been all that long since Indiana and Purdue faced off against each other in West Lafayette. In fact it will have been just 17 days, but a lot has happened in that stretch. In that last meeting, IU didn't just beat Purdue, 97-60, they decimated them with the worst home loss in Boilermaker history. 

Indiana (22-3, 10-2) is 3-1 during that time while Purdue (12-13, 5-7) is just 1-3, with its lone win coming against Penn State (which really shouldn't count). The Hoosiers are still the No. 1 team in the nation and will be for a third straight week if they beat the Boilermakers

There isn't much that can be said that we didn't talk about two weeks ago.

These are two teams heading in opposite directions. Purdue's recent losses have all been by 13 or more points and the two road losses have been by 15 and 20. 

The Hoosiers were able to dominate just about every facet of the game. They out rebounded Purdue, won the turnover battle, and shot 48 percent from the three-point with 25 attempts. 

Its not going to get any easier for Purdue at Assembly Hall either. While the fans may not have had much energy for Nebraska during the middle of the week, you can be sure they will show up for their in-state rival. There is nothing that IU fans love more than booing Purdue

Purdue is currently ranked 92nd in the Pomeroy Ratings with the 149th offense and 66th defense. Indiana is second in the Pomeroy boasting the best offense and 17th defense. 

The big point of concern for IU should Purdue's center AJ Hammons. The big man went off on IU for 30 points and had five blocks two weeks ago. While his point total was impressive, a lot of his points came in garbage time when IU had the game well in hand and Cody Zeller was on the bench. Hammons had a couple good games following the loss to IU, but his point totals and overall production has been steadily decreasing game-to-game. 

Aside for the problem that Hammons presents, IU has a favorable matchup at every position, center included. Last time, all five starters scored in the double digits and it would be surprising if that didn't happen again. 

Purdue really has nothing left to play for other than spoiler, and that could make them dangerous. IU has to treat this, and every remaining game, as if its for a championship because its not far from the truth. Winners dominate the easy opponents and win the close games, something IU has done both of this season. 

While Purdue is in decline, its no reason for the Hoosiers to overlook them, but there is also no chance that they will do so. Its IU-Purdue, neither team is ever going to overlook this match-up. 

A win would mean that coach Tom Crean will finally have record above .500 as IU's coach and the Hoosiers would remain tied with Michigan State for first place in the Big Ten. 

We'll be live tweeting during the game so don't forget to follow us on twitter @hoosiers101. 

Tags: AJ Hammons, Boilermakers, Cody Zeller, Indiana, Indiana Hoosiers, NCAA, Purdue

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