With many of them from Indiana, most of Purdue's players highly anticipate their games against the rival Hoosiers.
Lewis Jackson has learned to hate Indiana, too.
But he looks forward to playing at Illinois even more.
Jackson is from Decatur, Ill., about 50 miles from Champaign.
"I knew if I would have lost here, I would have had to hear from everybody about Illinois beating us," Jackson said after No. 14 Purdue's 81-70 victory Sunday. "So getting this win was like icing on the cake for me."
Jackson was surrounded by TV cameras and reporters after the game and did two solo TV interviews.
As usual, it was well-deserved.
Jackson had 10 points, five assists and two rebounds in 31 minutes and helped limit Illinois point guard Demetri McCamey to four points on 1-of-10 shooting and only two assists. In two games last season against Purdue, McCamey had 25 assists and had a 28-point game.
Jackson said he was able to give 15 tickets away but had other friends and family members tell him they bought tickets on their own, so he's not sure how many were in attendance.
But it was a good way to come home.
"Coming home, it's a big moment for me," he said. "People who don't get over there (to Purdue), get to see me. Getting a win here is great, and having family I don't get to see often is a great thing for me."
- Sophomore D.J. Byrd didn't play the final 11:43. Coach Matt Painter said Byrd had a hip pointer. Purdue men's basketball athletic trainer Jeff Stein was applying ice and then a pad to Byrd's left hip, and Byrd made at least one trip to the locker room in the second half. At one point, Stein poked hard on Byrd's hip, and Byrd flinched in pain.
No word as to how the injury occurred or if Byrd will miss Wednesday's game against Wisconsin. Byrd has been playing through back pain all season, though he didn't have the plastic back brace on against Illinois.