When Ohio State returned home Tuesday night, their life didn't get as easy as they hoped. Following road wins against Purdue and Michigan State, the Buckeyes anticipated an easier task in Columbus against struggling Michigan.
That wasn't the case.
Ohio State grabbed a 76-63 victory over the Wolverines in a game that was tighter than expected. Now Ohio State takes on Purdue for the second time in 10 days with the Boilermakers looking for a key road victory - something lacking from their NCAA Tournament resume.
Purdue (16-8, 5-5 Big Ten) has just one loss at home this season - to Ohio State (21-3, 9-1 Big Ten). However, the Boilermakers are hoping to improve on their 1-4 road record in conference play. Purdue's lone conference road win came last week against Penn State.
The Buckeyes are looking for their ninth consecutive victory and control of the conference race. Before their Feb. 25 showdown with Wisconsin, the co-leader in the Big Ten, Ohio State has Penn State twice and Minnesota. The Buckeyes finish up with a road game against Michigan to close out the regular season.
Meanwhile, as Ohio State battles for a conference championship and potential No. 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament, Purdue limps down the stretch hoping for an at-large bid under second-year head coach Matt Painter. After a promising 8-1 start, Purdue is 5-5 in their last 10 games and 8-7 since their first nine games.
In their Jan. 31 meeting in West Lafayette, Ind., Ohio State played one of their best games of the season in a 78-60 win. Freshman point guard Mike Conley had a previous career-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting along with six assists. He surpassed that best with 23 points on Tuesday evening against Michigan.
In the first meeting between Purdue and Ohio State, where the Buckeyes outscored the Boilermakers 45-29 in the second half, Carl Landry was the lone bright spot for Purdue. Landry scored 16 points as one of only two players in double-figures for the Boilermakers.
After games against Iowa on Saturday, Minnesota and Penn State, the Badgers close out with Michigan State twice and Ohio State sandwiched in between.
What: Ohio State (21-3, 9-1 Big Ten) vs. Purdue (16-8, 5-5 Big Ten)
Where: Value City Arena; Columbus, Ohio
When: Today, 12:17 PM
TV: ESPN Plus (Tom Hamilton & Greg Kelser)
Series: Purdue leads 78-76
PG Chris Kramer (6-3 Fr.) - 6.3 ppg, 2.5 apg
SG David Teague (6-5 Sr.) - 13.3 ppg, 41.7 percent FG
SF Keaton Grant (6-4 Fr.) - 4.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg
SF Carl Landry (6-8 Sr.) - 19.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg
PF Gordon Watt (6-6 Soph.) - 8.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg
PG Mike Conley (6-1 Fr.) - 10.3 ppg, 6.4 apg
SG Jamar Butler (6-2 Jr.) - 8.6 ppg, 40.6 percent 3-point FG
SF Ron Lewis (6-5 Sr.) - 11.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg
PF Ivan Harris (6-8 Sr.) - 9.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
C Greg Oden (7-1 Fr.) - 15.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg