BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Purdue fans will tell you that it's been 1,841 days since Indiana won a basketball game in this rivalry. That was more than five years ago, and Tom Crean did a lot of clapping that day back on Feb. 20, 2016.
Indiana hasn't won since.
There are players on Indiana's roster who were in middle school the last time the Hoosiers came out on top. The streak has reached eight games, and the gambling experts think it's going to continue.
Because Indiana is dealing with injuries to starters Armaan Franklin and Race Thompson – both doubtful game-time decisions – Purdue clearly has the upper hand.
Indiana coach Archie Miller didn't meet with the media this week outside of his postgame press conference after Tuesday night's loss to Michigan State. He did do his Thursday night radio show, though, and had a few things to say about Purdue.
- "Everything starts with Purdue inside."
- "They are a very good role definition team."
He also said that defending the tjhree-point line is key because that was the difference when Purdue beat Indiana earlier this season. Turnovers and rebounding is also important, he said.
Here's everything you need to know about Indiana's game at Purdue on Saturday:
- Who: Indiana Hoosiers (12-13, 7-11 in the Big Ten) at Purdue Boilermakers (17-8, 12-6 in the Big Ten).
- When: 2 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 6.
- Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
- Latest Line: Purdue is a 7-point favorite according to the DraftKings.com website as of 10 a.m. on Saturday. The over/under was 134.
- Poll rankings: Indiana is not ranked. Purdue moved back into the Associated Press and Coaches top-25 polls this week, checking in at No. 23 in both polls.
- Kenpom.com rankings: Indiana is ranked No. 40, the lowest its has been ranking all season. Purdue actually dropped one spot to No. 14 in the Kenpom.com rankings after moving up seven spots a week ago.
- Last time out: Indiana lost at Michigan State on Tuesday night, falling 64-58 for its fourth-straight defeat. Purdue beat Wisconsin lost 73-69 at home on Tuesday night for its fourth-straight win.
- Series history: Purdue leads the overall series, 123-89.
- Last meeting: The two teams last played in Bloomington on Jan. 14, 2021, with Purdue winning 81-69 despite the Hoosiers being 7-point favorites. Indiana was just 3-for-18 from three-point range and missed 13 free throws.
- TV: ESPN
- Announcers: Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (color commentary).
- Radio: Purdue Radio Network
- Announcers: Rob Blackmon and Bobby Riddell (and Clis in spirit)
Here are three things to look out for on Tuesday against Wisconsin:
1. Get to the line, and make them
Indiana has struggled from the free throw line often this season, ranking just No. 283 out of 340 teams in America with its 66.9 percentage. It really hurt them in the loss to Purdue, where they missed 13 free throws in the 12-point loss.
What Indiana is good at is getting TO the line. They've been there 593 times this season, which is No. 4 in the nation. To beat Purdue, you've got to get their big guys – Trevion Williams and Zach Edey – in foul trouble to take them of out their games. And make shots when you get there, at least 75 percent or better.
With that volume of trips to the line, here's a number that will make you cry. If Indiana would have just shot 75 percent from the line this year, that would have been 48 more points. How many more games would that have won?
2. Don't let Purdue get hot from deep
Purdue has a half-dozen guys who can knock down threes, and they've shot well against Indiana's packline defense through the years. They were 11-for-17 in the win in Bloomington.
But the way to beat Purdue is the defend that line. They've been red hot lately, winning 10 of its last 13 games. But what was the common thread in those losses? Three-point shooting. They were 2-for-17 shooting (11.8 percent) at Minnesota on Feb. 11, 4-for-17 shooting (23.5 percent) on Feb. 2 at Maryland and 2-for-12 (16.7 percent) against Michigan at Mackey on Jan. 22
Indiana has to shut down that three-point line. And, to be honest, they need to make threes themselves. They were just 3-for-18 from three in the first loss to Purdue, and they were just 2-for-20 in the loss on Tuesday. That's the game-changer right there.
3. Play hard for 40 minutes
What has hurt Indiana the most during the four-game losing streak are long stretches of a game where they just get run off the floor. They gave up 52 points in a half to Michigan State, had a 35-point swing against Rutgers (57-22) and no-showed in the final five minutes Tuesday night in the second loss to Michigan State in 10 days.
This has been a hard season for the Hoosiers, and there's no question that it's ending badly. They all can read, and the criticism has been fierce. They are well aware that Archie Miller's coaching future is in question right now.
The Hoosiers need a complete effort, and it needs to last for 40 minutes. They cannot loaf, and get lost in transition. Purdue will kill you if they are allowed to run. They've got great point guards who can push the ball and they've got deadly shooters on the wings. For Indiana to win, they need max effort from start to finish. We haven't see that lately, but we'll need to see it on Saturday.