Manny Harris's Elbow and Chris Kramer's Nose Have Not Forgotten One Another

As you may recall, the Boilermakers and Wolverines got together on January 31 in West Lafayette and mayhem ensued. Manny Harris elbowed Chris Kramer in the schnozz, Kramer went down and bled with a broken nose (which, according to some, he faked -- hey, he's dedicated to his cause), Harris was ejected, Coach Beilein tried to manhandle the ref and we all generally went bananas.

UM and Purdue fans haven't ever truly hated one another, I don't think, but if it gets crazy again tonight I think that could begin to happen. And maybe a new bitter rivalry will get going.

The Boilers come into tonight's game having won four in a row and with Hummel's back issues constantly in question. One moment he's going to sit out the rest of the season, the next minute he's playing against cellar-dwellars like IU. Your guess is as good as mine.

Since that 1/31 game, the UM squad has gone 3-3, which isn't so bad except that they lost to Iowa on Sunday. They're now 17-11 (7-8 in the B10) and officially a bubble team. Tonight is their last home game of the regular season and then they go on the road to Wisconsin and Minny. So to say tonight's a big game for them would be accurate.

It's also yoooge -- in my opinion -- for our Boilers. Win this game and then hold serve at home against OSU and Northwestern, and then we head to MSU for our showdown. Lose any one of those, though, and the regular season race is over. So tonight's the first -- and toughest -- step to getting to that showdown game against MSU.

I don't expect the Boilermakers to overlook Michigan tonight. Painter will have them ready and will remind them of how lackluster they looked against IU. This Michigan team has already proven they can win -- UCLA and Duke know this -- and they led the Boilers at the half a month ago, in West Lafayette. Crisler should be rocking and the hate that will be leveled at Chris Kramer will be infuriating to Purdue fans, as this guy did nothing but play solid defense and irritate Manny. But the fans will get on him, big time. Fortunately for us, CK seems to play even better when this is the case.

Also, keep an eye out for the new Boilermakers road unis -- the black on black should be cool.

We'll also be experimenting with a joint liveblog tonight, in the spirit of all of us fans getting along. You'll be playing nice in the sandbox with the readers of Maize N Brew, if you so choose.

If the liveblogging technology works and is well-recieved, we'll use it in future games, too, and I intend to liveblog our first round tourney games for those who have to work and will be unable to see it. I'm not sure if it WILL work tonight and I know the staff of Boiled Sports isn't entirely sure we'll be able to be online during gametime, so if we're not... well, play nice. And if the livebloggy thinger doesn't work, well, we're not technical geniuses. But we are handsome, and what more do you want?

Check back at gametime for the liveblog stuff to be up and running.

Purdue versus Michigan Liveblog

Seems like the right time for this move...