The Big Ten men’s basketball title is within reach for No. 11-ranked Purdue heading into the final week of games.
Purdue (22-7 overall, 15-3) owns the league lead with No. 7 Michigan and No. 9 Michigan State both a game back in the loss column. Purdue closes with road games against Minnesota tonight and against Northwestern on Saturday.
The Boilermakers can secure at least a share of the title with a win tonight. They can take their second outright title in the last three seasons by winning both games.
Purdue enters tonight’s game with momentum. It has won five games in a row, 13 of its last 14, and 16 of its last 18.
Minnesota (18-11 overall) is middle of the pack in the league standings at 8-10. Tonight’s game starts at 8 p.m. and will be shown on the Big Ten Network.
The following are some game notes.
The Boilers are led in scoring by Carsen Edwards (23.5 points) and Ryan Cline (11.7). Edwards is on pace to become the third Boiler in the last nine years to lead the Big Ten in scoring. JaJuan Johnson in 2011 (20.7) and Caleb Swanigan in 2017 (18.9) are the others. No other team has had more than one player lead the league in scoring in that span.
For Minnesota, Jordan Murphy averages 14.6 points and 11.7 rebounds while Amir Coffey puts up 15.2 points.
Coffey has accounted for 41 percent of all Minnesota field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has 18 field goals and 10 assists in those games.
The Gophers are 14-0 when they score at least 69 points and 4-11 when they fall shy of that total. The Boilers are 17-0 when they hold opponents to a field goal percentage of 43.1 percent or worse, and 5-7 when opponents exceed that percentage.
BEHIND THE ARC
Purdue’s Cline has attempted 209 3-pointers and connected on 41.1 percent of them, and is 5 of 19 over his past three games.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Purdue offense has recorded a turnover on only 16.3 percent of its possessions, which is the 30th-lowest rate in the nation. The Minnesota defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 17.2 percent of all possessions (ranked 288th among Division I teams).