Gameday Preview: No. 5 Virginia (7-0) vs. Purdue (4-3)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A rematch of last season's greatest college basketball game takes place in Mackey Arena Wednesday night when Purdue tangles again with defending champion Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The two teams met in the Elite Eight last year, and the Cavaliers broke Boilermaker hearts everywhere with a dramatic last-second shot that forced overtime. Virginia won 80-75 in OT to advance to the Final Four, where they won the national championship.
The rematch should be a good one, too. Virginia still hasn't lost this year, and it's coming off a 35-3 season a year ago
Here are the particulars:
- Who: Virginia Cavaliers (7-0) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (4-3)
- When: 7:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Dec. 4.
- Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
- Line: Purdue is a 1.5-point favorite
- Rankings: Virginia is ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll, and No. 2 in the Coaches Poll. Purdue is unranked in both polls, but has received votes and would be ranked No. 33 in both polls.
- Kenpom.com rankings: Virginia 5, Purdue 13
- TV: ESPN
- Announcers: Jason Benetti, Dan Dakich
- Radio: Purdue Radio Network
- Announcers: Larry Clisby, Rob Blackman, Ralph Taylor
Three things to know about Virginia
- STIFLING DEFENSE: As usual, Virginia guards like no one in the country. The Cavaliers are allowing only 40.3 points per game this season and held Maine to only 26 points last Wednesday in a 46-26 win. Teams are shooting only 28.8 percent from the field against them, which also ranks No. 1 in the country.
- CHALLENGE KINGS: Virginia has won five straight games in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and is 13-6 overall in the annual event. Purdue and Virginia have meet twice before in the Challenge. Virginia won at home in 2000, and Purdue won at Mackey in 2006.
- HE'S BACK: Mamadi Diakite, the Cavalier who hit the last-second shot a year ago, is back for another go-round with Virginia this season. He's leading Virginia in scoring with 13.9 points per game.
Three things to know about Purdue
- CARRYING THE BANNER: The Boilermakers have been the Big Ten's best team in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, with a 10-8 record through the years. They have been very good at home in the event, going 6-1 overall.
- STRUGGLES AGAINST THE BEST: This is the seventh nonconference team ranked No. 5 or better to visit Mackey Arena, and the previous six all left victorious. Most of those games against high-profile foes have been close, though. Five of the six were determined by five points or fewer.
- TOUGH SCHEDULE: Purdue opened the season ranked No. 23 in the country, and have played a very difficult schedule this far. They've beaten TCU, who was ranked No. 20 at the time, but they've lost to three kenpom.com top-50 teams in Texas (47), Marquette (27) and Florida State (20).