The Badgers face #6 Purdue on Thursday night at 6 p.m. Frank Kaminsky’s #44 will be retired before the game, marking only the second number that UW will have retired.

The first time Wisconsin and Purdue played, the Boilermakers absolutely destructed Wisconsin offensively and defensively, winning by 28 points. Purdue shot nearly 64 percent from the three-point line and forced the Badgers into 20 turnovers. The Edwards duo, Carsen and Vincent, combined for 41 points, only nine points shy of the Badgers final tally of 50.

Wisconsin will need to do a much better job of closing out on shooters and taking care of the ball in their second matchup. Purdue moved the ball and had players moving off the ball to the point where the Badgers defense had no idea what to do. However, Wisconsin is catching Purdue at a pretty good time. Purdue is coming off of two straight losses in which they only scored in the sixties, their lowest point totals since the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (albeit against MSU and OSU, the other top two teams in the Big Ten).

Purdue boasts the second-ranked offense in the Big Ten and the third-ranked defense. Wisconsin is 13th and ninth in those respective categories, leading to Purdue being a big favorite on Thursday night.

Coming off of a week where LeBron James and the Cavaliers ruined Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement night with a 22-point beatdown of the Celtics, it would be nice if the young Badgers battled with a far superior team on Frank Kaminsky’s big night. If Wisconsin manages to pull off the upset, which would be their first win against a team better than them this season, it might be a small silver lining in an otherwise frustrating 2017-18 season, and a step forward for the young team looking towards next year.

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