Sunday, February 21, 2010
Purdue, Hummel Ready for Big Time
Tthe race for first place in the Big Ten conference is now down to three teams - Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan State. After Saturday's 75-65 victory over Illinois, it now appears that the Boilermakers have the upper hand heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Robbie Hummel posted his sixth double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and snatching 12 rebounds for Purdue, which won for the 9th straight time, including wins over conference rivals Wisconsin, Michigan St. and Ohio State. At 11-3, the Boilermakers are tied with the Spartans, a game ahead of the Buckeyes (10-4) and two games better than Wisconsin (9-5).
With just four games remaining on their slate, the only obstacles between Purdue and the Big Ten regular season championship are their next two games: at Minnesota on Wednesday and home for a rematch with Michigan State on Sunday, Feb. 28. Should they manage to win both of those games, the championship would likely belong to them, along with a possible #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Purdue has not won the regular season title since 1996, when they won their third straight, then under coach Gene Keady.
That was before the conference installed a post-season tournament. The Boilermakers won that last season under head coach Matt Painter, and look to win both the regular season and tournament titles this time around.