It's rare that all three of Indiana's power teams play in big games at the same time, but that's certainly the case in the final day of 2013.  Butler, Indiana, and Purdue all open up their conference seasons this afternoon/evening, and each could benefit greatly from wins over favored opponents.

Purdue vs. Ohio State, 1 PM

The Buckeyes have probably been the Big Ten's third-best team to this point, but they find themselves ranked third nationally thanks to their unblemished (albeit weak) non-conference slate.  Meanwhile, the Boilers gave their most inspired performance of the season at Morgantown, beating West Virginia to give themselves a decent road win.  Mackey Arena was one of the country's toughest homecourts from 2007-2012, but the Boilers lost a lot of that edge last year. A win today would make Saturday's trip to The Barn less nerve-racking. 

Indiana at Illinois, 3 PM

Indiana is lacking a single quality win so far this season, and now they're lacking one of their big bodies with yesterday's surprising news of Luke Fischer's intentions to transfer. IU fell to all three of the Top 100 opponents they've faced, and don't have a win against anyone currently in the RPI Top 150.  There just aren't many positive things to say about the season to this point.  This is a critical opening week against Illinois and Michigan State (Sunday) - one where the Hoosiers probably need at least a split to jump start their NCAA Tournament resume. 

Butler vs. Villanova, 7:30 PM

It's crazy to think that the Bulldogs are a bad bounce (Kellen Dunham's rimmed-out runner vs. Oklahoma State) and a bad decision (Brandon Miller deciding not to foul up three against LSU in the waning seconds) from being undefeated right now.  Regardless, Butler's 10-2 start has them in excellent shape.  They rank 33rd in RPI and beat three BCS-level opponents (Vanderbilt, Purdue, Washington State) in their non-league slate.  11th-ranked Villanova got through a loaded Atlantis field in November, beating both Kansas and Iowa.  The Wildcats look like the class of the new Big East, and are the conference's lone ranked team.