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Boiling Point

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What to watch for: Purdue vs. Wisconsin

Purdue will try to bounce back from its 63-60 double overtime loss at Northwestern on Tuesday when the Boilermakers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) play host to No. 9 Wisconsin (16-3, 3-3) at 5 p.m. today.

The Boilermakers have won three of their last four games, while the Badgers will be trying to stop a three-game losing streak.

Here are some things to keep an eye on today:

Can Purdue put its loss at Northwestern behind it? The Boilermakers never let the Wildcats lead through regulation or the first overtime and led by seven with 6 ½ minutes to play before losing Tuesday.

"It's a challenge period, whether you win or you lose, going into the next game a lot of things can affect it," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "You can get on that rollercoaster, and you got to try your best to stay on an even keel and get your players some where in the middle, not getting too high after a big win and not getting too down after a tough loss."

Scoring in transition: Painter said he has been frustrated by his team's struggles to score in transition and finish at the rim in the last couple of games. The Boilermakers cannot miss those baskets if they expect to be successful against Wisconsin today.

"It's really frustrating, because they are opportunities you work for," Painter said. "In the game of basketball, if you are going to win, you got to steal points somewhere. Whether that's off the free-throw line, in transition or off the glass, those are the in-betweens. If you can knock down free throws and make layups, you will have a lot more success.

"We played 50 minutes the other night and had no transition baskets, it was frustrating. We had guys just not concentrating at the rim."

Resume builder: Even though Wisconsin has struggled lately, the Badgers are still a top-10 team and were ranked as high as No. 3 this season. Painter said a win today could help Purdue get itself in the running for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

"All wins are important," Painter said. "You have to take advantage of opportunities to get wins in your league, and any time you can get yourself in position to win, you've got to make the most of it and finish the game.

"We got to win. We've played six games, and we've won three and lost three. If we stay on that track, I don't think we will make it. I don't think .500 does it, in my opinion."

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