No conference opener will be able to boast of more pomp and firepower than this one, making a golden ticket in Mackey Arena a cherished possession.
This pits the nation’s top two scoring teams against each other, as Iowa averages a No. 1 94 points, Purdue is next at 92.4. At 1.297, the Boilers own the highest offensive efficiency, the Hawkeyes place at 1.281.
Those metrics translate to f-u-n. Those fortunate to have the Big Ten Network will be treated to some Trotter-esque running and gunning, as games involving these two have gone over by a combined rate of 12-2.
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-0, 6-1 ATS)
Molasses-deliberate Virginia had been averaging 61.4 points, but it hit 74 in a one-point home defeat to Iowa on Monday.
If the Cavaliers can improve their output that much, Purdue will be able to capitalize even more on its own floor.
The Hawkeyes’ adjusted defensive efficiency of 97.8 rates 94th, according to KenPom figures. Their motivation is to go-go-go, to get the other guys to do the same, and they own a top-50 tempo pace.
Iowa’s effective field-goal percentage of 58.3 is ninth in the country, it shoots 3-pointers at a top-30 39.6% clip, makes 57.6% of its 2-point shots (21st in the nation) and sinks 81% of its free throws, bested by only 12 other teams.
The Hawkeyes are a bit better than average at defending inside and outside the arc, but teams coached by Fran McCaffrey are not known by their skills at the end of the court.
They lost shooting guard CJ Frederick to Kentucky, where a hamstring injury might shelve him for the season.
But Iowa has been powered by sophomore forward Keegan Murray (24.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and the smart point play of junior Joe Toussaint. Jordan Bohannon, Patrick McCaffrey and Kris Murray average nearly 12 points apiece.
No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers (7-0, 5-2 ATS)
Purdue’s offensive efficiency has actually increased, at 1.341, over its past three games, which includes an 80-74 victory over Villanova on a neutral court in Connecticut.
In the final 10 minutes against the Wildcats, the Boilers showed an incredible finishing kick by outscoring their foes 37-23.
They have a devastating attack, with a 44.2% team 3-point touch that’s second in the game, and their 61.7% marksmanship inside the arc is No. 3.
Sophomore center Zach Edey is the anchor, averaging 16.9 points and 7.1 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jaden Ivey (15.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg), senior guard Sasha Stefanovic (12.9 ppg, 4.9 apg) and senior forward Trevion Williams (12.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) round out the top Boilers.
In the past three games between these two inside Mackey, Purdue has averaged 93 points. The electric atmosphere Friday night might inspire the Boilers to hit triple digits.
Iowa at Purdue Pick
Over 158.5 (FanDuel)
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