How to Watch: CBS or CBSSports.com
When: Saturday, December 15th
College basketball season is hurtling towards conference season, but the month of December still has several big inter-conference matchups that will draw plenty of attention. This Saturday, at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, we’ll see two of those matchups, when the four biggest basketball programs in the state meet for Hoosier state bragging rights.
The event begins at 1:30 p.m. ET with the Purdue Boilermakers battling the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Just looking at the team’s records is unlikely to build excitement for the game, but the win-loss totals don’t do justice to the basketball the two teams have been playing so far.
That is particularly true for Matt Painter and Purdue, who enter with a 6-4 record, but three of those four losses have come by a total of 11 points. The other loss, a 76-57 defeat at the hands of Michigan, isn’t anything to hang your head over, considering that the Wolverines have been blistering teams this season by an average margin of 18 points per game. The Boilermakers rank 15th in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings, with the ninth-best offense in the country. They’re led by guard Carsen Edwards, who has been filling up the stat sheet all season so far, averaging 25 points, three rebounds and three assists per game, with a 40-point night his last time out against Texas.
They’ll face a Notre Dame team that has three close calls of its own, dropping their three games by the exact same 11-point total. Granted, those games didn’t come against the same quality opponents as Purdue’s have, as the Irish have fallen to Radford, Oklahoma and UCLA, while the Boilermakers’ losses were to Virginia Tech, Florida State and Texas. Notre Dame doesn’t have a Carsen Edwards-caliber star, but their trio of Temple Gibbs, D.J. Harvey and John Mooney have combined to average over 35 points, 17 rebounds and five assists this season.
Then, at 3:45, Indiana meets Butler, as the Hoosiers look to continue their hot start to Archie Miller’s first season as head coach. Hoosiers freshman guard Romeo Langford has lived up to the hype so far, averaging 18 points, five rebounds and two assists per game this season. Senior forward Juwan Morgan has offered plenty of help (15 points/eight rebounds per game), and the Hoosiers have been tough on defense, ranking in the top 25 of KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency ratings.
That defense will be tested by the Bulldogs trio of Paul Jorgensen, Kamar Baldwin and Sean McDermott, who have combined for over 45 points, 13 rebounds and six assists per game this season. Butler ranks in the top 25 in offensive efficiency and the Ttp 50 on defense this season, and they have done a great job in the turnover department on both ends. The Bulldogs have turned the ball over just 10 times per game on offense, while forcing opponents into 14 per game defensively.
All of the action can be seen live on CBS beginning Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.