The No. 8-seeded Michigan State Spartans take on the No. 9-seeded Purdue Boilermakers Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament. Both teams earned a first-round bye and will begin today’s tournament action in the opening game at Gainsbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Tipoff is set for 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and the game will broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Purdue finished the regular season with a 16-13 record overall and stands at 7-11 in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers dropped three of five games down the final stretch, defeating Rutgers and Illinois.
Three players for Purdue earned All-Big Ten honorable mention on Tuesday. Abbey Ellis and Madison Layden both were recognized for the honor by coaches and media while leading the Boilermakers in scoring with 11.4 points per game. Jeanae Terry also earned the honors by both coaches and media, thanks to a team-high rebounds (6.9 per game) and assists (166 on the season). Terry has 200 total rebounds on the season. She is also second on the team in total blocks (13) and steals (35).
Cassidy Hardin is fifth in the Big Ten in three-pointers made with 2.5 per game, averaging 34 percent from behind the arc. Layden leads the team in steals with 49 on the season, marking her 1.8 steals per game average as eighth-best in the league.
Purdue ranks 10th in the Big Ten in scoring offense, averaging 67.3 points per game. The Boilermakers rank ninth in scoring defense, letting opponents average 67.1 points per game. The brightest category for the team is ranking third in the league in blocks, averaging 4.1 per game.
Thursday’s game marks the 70th all-time meeting between the two programs and the seventh in the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue leads the all-time series 43-26 and holds a 5-1 record in Big Ten Tournament matchups. Michigan State has won three of the last five in the series, however. Purdue won this season’s lone regular season matchup in East Lansing on Jan. 9, defeating the Spartans 69-59. MSU won four-straight in the series from 2014-2016, but neither team has won more than two in a row since.
Michigan State last faced Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament in 2020. In that matchup, just like this year, the Spartans were seeded No. 8 and the Boilermakers as No. 9. Purdue defeated MSU 72-63 despite two Spartans notching double-doubles.
The winner of today’s game will take on the No. 1-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday at 11:30 a.m. The Buckeyes won both games this season against Michigan State, including a 61-55 win in East Lansing this past Sunday on MSU’s Senior Day. The last time Michigan State faced Ohio State in the conference tournament was in 2016. The Spartans defeated Purdue in the quarterfinals and then, by double-digits, proceeded to take down Ohio State by a final score of 82-63, en-route to the Big Ten championship game matchup.