Saturday, February 24, 2007

Life on the Bubble: Desperation

It's all come to this. Could be's and should be's are definites. Must-win games are the reality. Backs are to the wall, yada, yada, yada.

Purdue shit the bed against Iowa on Wednesday night turning in one of the sorriest efforts of a game compoundedly sorrier by the fact that their NCAA tournament hopes were resting in the balance. To go into Iowa City and lay an egg with poor defense, ridiculous turnovers, and effortless play will not do much to calm the fears of the faithful.

No one - I mean no one - will be delighted with hosting a first round NIT game.

Here they sit. The Boilers square off with Northwestern today in Evanston. This game has all of the hallmarks of the desperation game you love to hate. Not only does Purdue need to win, games such as these always tend to be the ones that teams never win. It's late in the season, the opponent is 2-11 in the conference and fighting to get above .500. They play a zone defense that most other conference teams eschewed eons ago, and their mind-numbing Princeton style offense will certainly give one fits and possibly hold the score to 22-19. (Take the under.)

All is not lost though, and hope still fizzles in the offing. Most projections still put the Boilers in the Dance despite the Hawkeye beat-down. Lucky enough, Purdue wasn't the only tournament caliber team to suck it up this week. Yet, that only solidifies their spot in the cesspool of mediocrity that this bubble is turning out to be.

Purdue should win this game but not by much; Vegas says 4.5. If they were to lose, some will predict implosion culminating in a Thursday loss in the 8-9 Big Ten Tournament game. Yet if they win, they'll pretty much be right where they are this morning. Safely on the bubble. Backs to the wall. Desperately wanting one more game.

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