Halftime: Michigan 38, Purdue 37



P.J. Thompson beat the suspension buzzer with a halfcourt 3-pointer, snapping a late Michigan run and actuation Purdue at intervals 38-37 at the break.

The Wolverines had scored eleven straight points to erase what had been a 34-27 Purdue lead. D.J. Wilson scored eighteen first-half points, and hit succeeding 3s to fuel that run.

Purdue's Caleb Swanigan and patriarch Haas combined to attain twenty one points on ten of fourteen shooting. The Boilermakers clearly prioritized obtaining the ball into their huge men, capitalizing with baskets and drawing two fouls apiece from Michigan starting forward Mo Wagner and reserve Mark Donnal.

Michigan has a 10-2 lead in second-chance points off of four offensive rebounds. Purdue has only two offensive boards, though it also shot above 70 percent for much of the half.

It was the second halftime half-court buzzer beater of the season for Thompson, who also did it against Villanova.

PREGAME

WASHINGTON, D.C. — No. 1 seed Purdue basketball begins Big Ten tournament play today against No. 8 seed Michigan in today's noon quarterfinal. ESPN will broadcast.

Purdue hasn't played since Sunday's 69-65 victory at Northwestern. The Boilermakers have won eight of their last nine and won their first Big Ten championship since 2010 and first outright title since 1996.

Michigan defeated Illinois 75-55 in Thursday's second round at the Verizon Center. The Wolverines did not arrive at the arena until Thursday morning after they were involved in a scary accident in an aborted takeoff from Michigan the day before.

The winner of today's game plays either Michigan State or Minnesota in Saturday's 1 p.m. semifinal.

OUR PREGAME C


STARTING FIVE

1-I covered some of the more obvious angles of today's matchup in the scouting report linked above. Here's another: does Michigan have any advantage by having already played its first tournament game? The Wolverines will have those initial jitters out and some additional familiarity with the arena. Could be a factor.

2-On the other hand, will Michigan have less in the tank than your average second-day team after everything they've been through in the past 48 hours? Yesterday the Wolverines were fueled by emotion. Will there be a mental letdown?

3-It's pretty obvious Purdue's guards still have a chip on their shoulders. When I talk to observers with doubts about the Boilermakers, that's always their first quibble. That's not entirely without merit, especially in relation to the frontcourt. This week, especially considering the possible matchups in front of them, is an opportunity for Purdue's backcourt to silence more critics.

4-Questions will also linger about Purdue's defensive ceiling. Michigan made 65.5 percent from 2 and 42.3 percent from 3 in the 12-point win in Ann Arbor. Mo Wagner isn't the only player the Boilermakers need to worry about. Derrick Walton had seventeen points, ten rebounds and 5 assists that day.

5-Swanigan created eight of eleven field goals within the 1st meeting with Michigan, however had solely 5 rebounds and turned the stun 5 times. That 1st range is somewhat littered with the Wolverines' shooting that day. He'll want a cleaner performance these days.
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