Purdue has been in the top five of the AP Top 25 poll for 29 straight weeks. The Boilermakers started 2023 ranked No. 1. The Boilermakers started 2024 ranked No. 1. Simply put: few programs, and arguably none, have been as consistently great over the past two regular seasons as the reigning Big Ten champs.
Northwestern is always a challenge, though. It was true again Wednesday night.
Final score: Purdue 105, Northwestern 96 in overtime.
The Boilermakers shot 57.9% from the field en route to their sixth consecutive victory — but it didn’t come easily. Northwestern took them to overtime for the second time this season. Surprisingly, even though Purdue is 46-7 over the past two regular seasons, it’s just 1-2 against Northwestern in that stretch. And Northwestern coach Chris Collins clearly believes that record could be 0-3 if Purdue didn’t shoot 38 more free throws than his Wildcats did Wednesday.
“I’m not going to go into the officiating; we have great officiating,” Collins said during his postgame press conference following a colorful ejection from the contest. “I just don’t know if I’ve ever seen a box score like that.”
Controversial or not, the OT win pushed Purdue to 20-2 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are 7-2 in Quadrant 1 and 13-2 inside the first two quadrants, making them the sport’s only team with at least seven Q1 wins, more than 11 wins inside the first two quadrants and zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. That’s among the reasons Purdue remains No. 1 in Thursday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings for the 22nd consecutive day.
Next up is a good one.
Purdue will travel to Wisconsin this weekend for a Sunday showdown on CBS between the schools sitting at first and second in the Big Ten standings. Wisconsin is only three spots behind Purdue at No. 4 in the Top 25 And 1 but still has one big test before hosting Matt Painter’s program: Thursday night’s game at Nebraska, a place Purdue actually lost last month.