- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2008

FORTUNES RISING

PURDUE

 Few teams around the country are younger than Matt Painter’s Boilermakers, who nonetheless are making the most of a weak Big Ten. Purdue already owns victories over Louisville, Ohio State and Wisconsin, with the latter coming Saturday in West Lafayette. There’s no shortage of chances for victories on the horizon, meaning the Boilermakers are looking at back-to-back NCAA berths.

FORTUNES FALLING

VILLANOVA

 Nobody does erratic quite like the Wildcats, who will continue to play poorly in the Big East this winter. There might not be a top-10 caliber team in the league besides Georgetown, but it contains no shortage of teams capable of carving Jay Wright and Co. up whenever the youthful Wildcats sputter at inopportune times. If Rutgers can do it, so can anyone else in the conference.

MID-MAJOR SPOTLIGHT

ORAL ROBERTS

 Most teams only could dream of losing a 20-points-a-night scorer like Caleb Green, who led the Eagles to two straight Mid-Continent (now Summit) titles, and still thriving. But Oral Roberts is through the first half of the conference’s double round-robin at 9-0 and might just be a sneaky No. 13 seed when March arrives thanks in large part to sixth man Robert Jarvis, who averages a team-high 16.9 points.

THIS WEEK’S SIX-PACK

TONIGHT

No. 11 INDIANA (17-2, 6-0 Big Ten) at No. 13 WISCONSIN (16-3, 6-1)

9 p.m., Kohl Center, Madison, Wis., ESPN

Skinny: No conference team other than Illinois has toppled the Badgers at Kohl Center under Bo Ryan, though the Eric Gordon-led Hoosiers have a chance. Of course, if they play with the same impatience and sloppiness that plagued them throughout their loss to Connecticut on Saturday, they will be even in the loss column with Wisconsin in the watered down Big Ten.

SATURDAY

Story Continues →