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Better Know A Gavitt Games Opponent: Purdue

It's a three way tie for the third shortest all time series at eight games, so I'm going to go with the long time Big Ten team instead of the two newer teams this week.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette has a varying history with the members of the Big Ten.  They have a long running series with Wisconsin, of course, and there are a few other schools that MU has squared off with over the years.  With the announcement of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and at least six games against Big East opponents, we're going to check in on Marquette's history against each of the 13 teams and see what could make for the most interesting matchups.

For lack of any particular order of importance, we'll go in order of how many times Marquette has seen each particular opponent.  We've already tackled Maryland and Penn State, so we move on to the first of three teams that MU has played eight times in program history.


All Time Series: 0-8

Last Meeting: March 15, 1969

Yeah, that's right, the last time these two teams hooked up was waaaaaay back in 1969.  As you can probably guess from that date in March, the last encounter between Marquette and Purdue came in the 1969 NCAA tournament.  It was actually the regional final, as the Boilermakers popped in a jumper by Rick Mount in overtime to defeat a Warriors team led by senior George Thompson and sophomore Dean Meminger to advance to the Final Four.  Purdue would actually reach the national championship game before running into the buzzsaw that was the Lew Alcindor led UCLA Bruins.

As you've also noticed, Marquette has never defeated Purdue.  That NCAA tournament game was the first time in 17 seasons that MU had seen Purdue after the two teams had played every season from 1947-48 through 1951-52, plus two stray contests back in 1932 and 1935.  The two point loss in the NCAA tournament is the closest margin of victory for the Boilermakers, and only the first two games in the all time series also had a single digit final margin.  In that five year stretch where MU & Purdue played every year, Purdue's average margin of victory was 15.6.  The final game in the run in December 1951 provided MU's "best" performance, as they only lost by 13 in West Lafayette.

Things have been better for Purdue head coach Matt Painter.  The Boilermakers alum has been in charge of the basketball team since 2005-06 when he took over for the man who coached him, Gene Keady.  After a first season of scuffling along, Painter led Purdue to six straight 22+ win seasons which all went along with NCAA tournament appearances each season.  Since then, however, things have been going backwards.  Purdue has finished each of the last two seasons under .500, and they've accumulated a 13-23 record in Big Ten games, including finishing dead last in the conference last season.

Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana, is the 41st largest arena in all of Division 1, according to  Even though the Boilermakers have undergone some rough times over the last two seasons, it hasn't diminished their fan support.  Mackey Arena holds 14,123 people, and Purdue averaged 12,738 fans in attendance last season.  For comparison purposes, they averaged 13,324 in the last season that they made the NCAA tournament and 13,916 fans in the season where they ended up with a three seed in the NCAA tournament.  Regardless of how Purdue fares between now and then, I think it's safe to say that there will be a great crowd if MU plays the Boilermakers on the road.