Looking to repeat as Big Ten tournament champions for the first time since Ohio State did it in 2010 and ’11, No. 5 seed Michigan takes on second-seeded Purdue inside Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.
The Big Ten championship starts at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on CBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Amazon Prime: If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch a live stream of your local CBS channel via the CBS All-Access Amazon Channel, which comes with a 7-day free trial. Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can watch CBS live on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or other streaming device via the the Amazon Video app.
CBS All Access: This service lets you watch a live stream of your local CBS channel (most markets included), as well as all of CBS’ on-demand library. It’s ultimately the same as the above option, only you’re watching through CBS’ digital platform rather than Amazon’s. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and then you can watch on your computer via the CBS website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the CBS app
Purdue is the higher seed, and they won both regular season head-to-head matchups, and they’re favored by four points, but none of that really matters because you’d be hard-pressed to find a team in the country playing better basketball than Michigan right now.
After a clinical beatdown of Nebraska in the quarterfinals, the Wolverines put together another impressive, comprehensive effort against in-state rival Michigan State in their 75-64 semifinal victory. Not only did they score 49 points in the second half against one of the best defensive teams in America, but the defense held MSU to just 0.955 points per possession–their worst offensive game in three months.
Winners of eight straight, Michigan–boasting an elite defense and a red-hot offense–has climbed to No. 9 nationally in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency rankings.
Purdue’s performance in the Big Ten tourney haven’t been nearly as earth-shattering–a seven-point win over Rutgers in the quarters, and an eight-point win over Penn State in the semis. Still, after a three-game losing streak in early February, the Boilermakers are back on track and have put up at least 1.2 points per possession in four consecutive games. They’re also one of the few teams to have solved Michigan’s defense this season, as they put up 92 points and 1.373 points per possession in a January 25 victory–both season-worsts for the Wolverines’ defense.
Ultimately, this stacks up as a fascinating championship. Purdue’s offense and Michigan’s defense are both Top-10 nationally. Purdue’s defense and Michigan’s offense are both improving down the stretch. And the two games these teams played this season may have both been won by Purdue, but they were decided by a combined five points. Don’t be surprised if this one comes down to the final possessions.