IUBB @ Purdue: 3 Bold Predictions

Zach Edey, Purdue Men's Basketball and Malik Reneau + Kel'el Ware, Indiana Men's Basketball
Zach Edey, Purdue Men's Basketball and Malik Reneau + Kel'el Ware, Indiana Men's Basketball / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

You probably could not get any less bold than simply predicting 2nd-ranked Purdue to defeat Indiana in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena tomorrow evening. After the pounding that the Boilermakers put on the Hoosiers a month ago in Bloomington, that almost seems like a foregone conclusion. However, the continuously volatile Indiana team comes into this one fresh off of an impressive comeback road victory over Ohio State just a few days ago. Could they carry on that momentum into this one and pull off the improbable?

Here are 3 bold predictions for Saturday's latest episode of the storied IU-Purdue rivalry.

1. Purdue Wins by 30+ Points

While the Hoosiers came out on top in last season's West Lafayette section of the season series, times have certainly changed. Back in January, Purdue stomped Indiana by 21 points at Assembly Hall. With the status of Kel'el Ware uncertain following his awkward foot plant near the climax of the contest in Columbus, the Hoosiers could be without a critical component of their core composition. Mike Woodson's team may also be without Xavier Johnson in this one as he continues to battle an elbow injury which has kept him sidelined during the team's last two games.

The Boilermakers are coming off of an uber-impressive road win over 6th-ranked Wisconsin on Sunday. All signs are pointing in their direction in terms of victory likelihood in this one, but do not be shocked if this one gets extremely out of hand extremely quickly.

2. Zach Edey Drops his 2nd 30-20 Game of 2023-2024

Referencing back to the possible absence of Kel'el Ware, Mike Woodson might have to throw on a jersey if the Hoosiers have any chance of containing Zach Edey. The 7'4" giant manhandled Indiana's frontline to the tune of 34 points and 14 rebounds last time around, and that was with Ware being fully available. If the Hoosiers' starting center does not get the green light to go in this one, Edey should have a field day against the likes of Payton Sparks (6'10", 260 pounds), Malik Reneau (6'9", 235 pounds), and Anthony Walker (6'8", 215 pounds).

With this being his final time squaring off with the Boilermakers' bitter rival, he should have increased motivation to punish all those that enter his path on Saturday.

3. Trey Galloway Drops 20+ Points in 2 Straight Games for 1st Time of NCAA Career

Say what you want about Trey Galloway, but this team would be lost without his leadership. He has not strung together the type of senior season that everyone was hoping for (11.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.2 SPG), but an argument could be made for him being this team's most important player.

Just like Edey, Galloway should have an extra layer of motivation to make the most of his final appearance in one of the more prominent rivalries in college basketball history. He has shown a sense of poise in some of Indiana's biggest games this season, averaging 22.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 3 APG on a sizzling 60% shooting from the floor and 45.5% from deep in the Hoosiers's two games against fellow blue bloods Kansas and Purdue. After leading the team with 25 points and 4 dimes against Ohio State, his confidence should be sky high. Combine that with the previous notes on this being his final appearance in this rivalry and Indiana's injury woes leading up to this one, and this prediction may actually be more bland than bold.