ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan basketball team gets one last go-round on its home court, and it has a chance to challenge a Big Ten Conference title contender.
Michigan (18-10, 8-7 Big Ten) hosts No. 14 Purdue on Saturday in its regular-season home finale, and will recognize its five outgoing seniors — Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin, Mark Donnal, Sean Lonergan and Andrew Dakich — in a ceremony 20 minutes prior to tipoff against the Boilermakers (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten).
Purdue enters Saturday atop the Big Ten standings and on a six-game winning streak. Purdue has the Big Ten’s top offense (81 points per game), boosted by an inside-outside threat. Forward Caleb Swanigan is the conference’s second-leading scorer (18.6 points) and its leading rebounder (12.9), while guard Dakota Mathias averages 9.9 points and is shooting 48.4 percent on 3-pointers.
Purdue also has a name on its roster that’s familiar to Wolverines fans: Spike Albrecht, who joined Purdue as a graduate transfer this year.
Michigan basketball vs. Purdue game time, details
Time: 4 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Feb. 25
Location: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.
The line: Michigan is favored by 1 1/2 points.
Which TV channel broadcasts Michigan basketball vs. Purdue?
ESPN2 will broadcast the game.
How can I watch Michigan basketball vs. Purdue online?
WatchESPN will stream the game.
How can I listen to Michigan basketball vs. Purdue on the radio?
You can listen on Sirius channel 135 and XM channel 195.
For Purdue basketball, 95.7 FM (WYCM-Lafayette, Ind.) is the flagship station. Click here for other Purdue radio affiliates.
For Michigan basketball, 950 AM (WWJ-Detroit), 102.9 FM (WWWW-Ann Arbor) and 1050 AM (WTKA-Ann Arbor) are the primary stations. Click here for other Michigan radio affiliates.
Who is calling the Michigan basketball vs. Purdue game?
Play-by-play announcer Dave Flemming, analyst Dan Dakich and sideline reporter Molly McGrath will call the game for ESPN2.
Purdue’s radio crew includes play-by-play announcer Larry Clisby and analyst Rob Blackman.
Michigan’s radio crew includes play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard and analyst Terry Mills.
Michigan basketball vs. Purdue three keys
Continued production from Abdur-Rahkman
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has gotten stronger at this point in the season. The junior guard has scored in double figures in six of his last eight games, including a pair of 14-point games at Rutgers and at Minnesota. Abdur-Rahkman has proven to be a solid reinforcement for Irvin, who recently went through a four-game scoring slump in which he averaged only 3.3 points. Irvin is on the rebound, though, averaging 14.6 points in his last three games.
Make free throws
Those points should be a given, but Michigan has been plagued by poor free-throw shooting in its last two games. In an 83-78 overtime loss Sunday at Minnesota, Michigan went 9 for 18 on free throws. Three nights later in a 68-64 win at Rutgers, Michigan went 14 for 23. The Wolverines enter the game Saturday against Purdue at 77 percent on free throws for the season, but can’t afford to struggle from the foul line in their final games of the regular season.
Strong play on the boards
While Michigan’s free-throw shooting has been questionable in recent games, its rebounding has improved, and the Wolverines are showing a willingness to work on the boards. Michigan had 40 rebounds to Rutgers’ 33 on Wednesday, including 11 rebounds (6 offensive rebounds) by D.J. Wilson, and matched its highest rebounding total of the season (40 in a 77-65 win against IUPUI on Nov. 13).