The Hawkeyes Thwart Revenge Attempt; Steal Purdue’s Lunch Money
Big Ten Network designated the game as The Rematch®.
Unfortunately Purdue was unable to match the effort put forth the super-creative BTN marketing team….or the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Boilermakers not only blew a chance for revenge, but it also failed to prove its worthiness among the top of the Big Ten.
Iowa’s perimeter game presented a known matchup issue for Purdue’s front court, but Purdue still had no answers. Iowa blasted Purdue using the same methodical approach it used to overcome a 19-point halftime deficit on January 3rd.
The Boilers were able to neutralize the burn with success behind the three-point in the first half, but turnovers, sloppy defense, and overall uninspired basketball ultimately doomed the Boilers.
Purdue's two point lead evaporated and was quickly replaced by an insurmountable 15-point deficit. Iowa’s second half run crushed Purdue’s spirit as nothing it threw at Hawkeyes could stop their sharp shooting front court from draining treys.
Until Purdue can address it’s glaring defensive deficiencies, unbalanced offense, and turnover problem, it will only beat teams that it can physically overpower.
It’s starting to look like Purdue’s early perimeter success was simply an anomaly. We’ve been using the word inconsistent but it's beginning to like that's being generous.
Until these issues are corrected, Purdue will remain firmly in the middle of the Big Ten, and a fringe top-25 contender.
As commenters have pointed out, opportunities to earn a protected seed are diminishing. The season is not over, but we've seen nothing that indicates Purdue can make the adjustments needed to get them over the hump against good teams (I am using that term loosely).
Currently, Purdue is down and in the belly of the whale as it reconciles reality with early season expectations. It will take leadership, discipline, and buy-in to make some of the necessary (yet correctable) adjustments that it needs to make to have any hope for a successful post season.
But the the way Purdue is played against Iowa, a Sweet Sixteen exit might be a success.