Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Lay-up Lines: Purdue hosts Michigan State to Headline a Quiet Night

The big game of the night is Purdue (19-6, 8-4) taking on Michigan State (20-4, 10-2) in West Lafayette. The biggest story line of the game is that both Robbie Hummel and Raymar Morgan will be playing. Hummel missed three games with a "stress fracture of the L-5 vertebrae in his low back", but returned on Saturday against Iowa to score 2 points in 24 minutes (Hummel practiced pain-free on Monday). Morgan, on the other hand, has missed the last three games (and played just 12.5 mpg in the four before that) as a result of walking pneumonia. Both are expected to suit up tonight, although both coaches have said they expect the two to play limited minutes.

Michigan State still has an outside chance of getting a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament (right now, the consensus is that UConn, Pitt, Oklahoma, and UNC are just about locked in), but in order to do so they are going to need to win games like this on the road. This game may be at Purdue, but I still think that the Spartans are the favorite to win. Purdue is a bit undersized when compared to the Spartans, which means that a limited Robbie Hummel (who plays the four) is going to be much more of an issue than a limited Raymar Morgan. If Purdue can slow down MSU and get them playing a half court game, then rebound on the defensive end, the Boilermakers have a shot.

Here is the rest of the night's action:

  • 7:30 PM: Maryland (16-8, 5-5) @ Clemson (20-4, 6-4): Believe it or not, Maryland is on the cusp of making the NCAA tournament. They have won three of their last four games (including games against Miami and Virginia Tech) and have six games left. Four are against the top of the league - UNC, Duke, Clemson, and Wake. If they win the other two, and add an upset over one of those four teams, they will be 19-11, 8-8 in a tough ACC, with non-conference wins over Michigan and Michigan State. Yes, they lost to Morgan State, but the rest of that resume is pretty impressive.
  • 8:00 PM: Seton Hall (14-10, 5-7) @ Marquette (21-4, 10-2)
  • 9:00 PM: Kentucky (18-7, 7-3) @ Vanderbilt (15-9, 4-6)
  • 10:00 PM: New Mexico (6-9, 7-3) @ BYU (19-5, 7-3)

No comments: