Who: No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (7-0) vs. No. 19 Purdue (5-2)
Where: Crisler Center (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
When: Saturday, Dec. 1, 3:31 p.m. ET
Point spread: Michigan -7
Listen: Detroit: WWJ-950 AM; Ann Arbor: WTKA-1050 AM; anywhere: MGoBlue.com
Tickets: Sold out
Halftime show: The Amazing Sladek
Follow: Andrew Kahn
After a perfect November, Michigan’s first December game will be its Big Ten opener. It is the second straight sellout at Crisler Center, as the arena was packed — and loud — for Michigan’s 84-67 win over No. 11 North Carolina on Wednesday.
John Beilein is usually so locked in to game strategy that he doesn’t register crowd noise. But he took notice Wednesday. “When Charles (Matthews) had the dunk off the rebound and the (referee) clearly blew his whistle right in front of me and put his hand up, I couldn’t hear him,” Beilein said. “Then I said, ‘Wow, it is really loud in here.'”
It’s one of the reasons Beilein is a proponent of Big Ten games this time of year. Michigan will play at Northwestern on Tuesday, then return to nonconference play for the rest of the month.
“A lot of us older guys are telling the younger guys that Big Ten play is a lot different from nonconference,” Michigan junior Jon Teske said. “It’s a lot more physical.”
Purdue visits with two losses already, close games away from home against ranked teams (to Virginia Tech in Charleston and at Florida State, by one, on Wednesday). The Boilermakers lost four senior starters from a team that went 15-3 in the league last season, but bring back Big Ten preseason Player of the Year Carsen Edwards. The 6-foot-1 junior is one of the best scorers in the country. He’s at 25.1 points per game and is hitting 39 percent from 3-point range on an average of 10 attempts per game.
The Boilermakers don’t have the signature wins Michigan does — a neutral-site win over Davidson is their best to date — and head coach Matt Painter lost point guard P.J. Thompson, sharpshooters Dakota Mathias and Vince Edwards, and the 7-foot-2, 290-pound Isaac Haas to graduation.
As Beilein walked out of Purdue’s Mackey Arena last season, he stopped for a quick chat with a long-time arena staffer.
“This is Haas’ last year, right?” Beilein asked, though he knew the answer.
Receiving confirmation, he said, “Good. He’s a big boy.” Michigan will go from focusing on Purdue’s biggest player to worrying about its smallest.