Things have been great for the past couple of weeks for the Butler Bulldogs. After their loss to Texas A&M right on November 23rd, they have reeled off four straight victories. This includes a win against a Power Five program in Oklahoma during the Big East-Big 12 battle. In Butler’s most recent game they returned to Hinkle Fieldhouse and beat Eastern Illinois 66-54. The Bulldogs got off to a strong start, going up by double digits at halftime. They were able to control the game in the second half to see out the victory. The defense stepped up, forcing 16 turnovers, including seven steals, and held EIU to 29.6 percent from three. Butler also was a force on the glass, out-rebounding their opponents 34 to 28 including 11 on offense. The win now puts the Bulldogs at 7-3 on the season. However they are still at the bottom of the Big East standings, mostly due to how strong the rest of the conference is. All 11 teams have winning records, including five with nine wins or more. It’s going to be a tough slate of games for the Bulldogs in the future as Big East play approaches. But they have to focus on the present first as they take one of the top teams in the country in the Crossroads Classic.
Big East play begins for Butler after this with games against St. John’s and DePaul scheduled to take place within the next two weeks.
The Purdue Boilermakers will be Butler’s opponents in Indianapolis. Matt Painter’s crew has been one of the best in all of college basketball, being ranked as No. 3 via the AP Poll. In fact, they were even ranked No. 1 for a short while before being upset by Rutgers at the buzzer last week. They bounced back with an 82-72 overtime win against NC State in the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational. Star player Jaden Ivy had 22 points while Trevion Williams had a double double with 22 points as well along with 12 rebounds. They were very efficient from the field, making 50 percent of all of their attempts. The Boilermakers did struggle from three (23.8%) and committed more turnovers than NC State but were still able to control the rebounding battle, winning it by 13. Purdue now moves to 9-1 on the season, putting them fifth in the Big Ten which is thanks to their 1-1 conference record. After this matchup, Purdue has two more non-conference games against Incarnate Word and Nicholls State before conference play ramps up.
Indiana and Norte Dame will be the other matchup in the Classic. This will also be a bittersweet moment for the mini tournament as this is the final time the Crossroads Classic will take place.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Time: Noon ET
Radio: WXNT 1430AM (Butler) | Purdue Radio Network (Purdue)
Stream: FOX Sports Go (where streaming is available)
Odds: Purdue is heavily favored with the lines having them as a 16 point favorite.
Record ATS: Butler (3-6) | Purdue (6-4)
O/U: The total for this one is set at 132.5.
(All odds/totals via Oddsshark.com)
Last Time They Met
It’s been two years since the schools last played each other and it took place in the Crossroads Classic as always. It was a victory for the Bulldogs as they attempt to make a comeback in the overall series, which Purdue has a sizable lead in. This game will be the 60th played between the Bulldogs and Boilermakers.