Poll Dancing: Eyes on a Bigger Prize
The post season is officially upon us, ladies and gentlemen. Purdue has put themselves in a position which much of the nation wish they were in. Heading into the conference tournament, they're flirting with an elite group, but really aren't viewed as elite by most. That's nothing but positive as they might be able to sneak up on their second round opponent...a bit.
That said, it's tough to sneak up on anybody when you've been ranked all season. Only a handful of teams in the nation can say they were ranked from the start of the season until the end in both polls. Purdue hasn't done that since all three of the Baby Boilers were on the roster together...so this season was important, even without any postseason results in the books, already.
Here at BS, we've asked each other what type of season would legitimize watching a bunch of players leave for the NBA early. My answer is a strong run to the Elite 8 would make an exit or two understandable...but a Final Four or better would make a complete rebuild palatable, at least in my mind.
Guys like Edwards, Swanigan and Haas all have received a bit of attention from scouts and media, but none of them look like they'll move onto greener pastures in the Spring of '16. That said, this Purdue team is a bit like the Michigan squad from a few seasons ago- like that Michigan team, Purdue will probably be a 4 seed when the pairings for the tournament are announced a bit under a week from now. That UM team relied heavily on frontcourt play to create scoring...so there are some on-court differences, but when a team gets hot at the right time, anything can happen. And when a team has experience and talent, who knows?
Look at our rivals to the South- they've been hot for a few weeks and its got the nation's attention. They're either in the top-10 or near it in most polls. Conversely, Maryland and Iowa have been limping the last few weeks...but those two teams really haven't fallen too far in the polls, all things considered. Purdue will more than likely play that Iowa squad on Thursday...hopefully the Good Guys are licking their chops at the opportunity, not dreading playing a team that seemingly has their number.
Purdue ended as high as 10th and as low as 16th in this weeks polls. Their BSCR is steady as a stone at 13.6.
The best two week period of the year, if you're a college basketball fan is upon us...let's hope our Boilers can make it even a bit more sweet as they begin to knock some heads in the coming days.