I expressed this earlier, but yesterday's game took it out of me. So much that I haven't watched any basketball since. I worked on a home improvement project, watched the first Indy Car race of the year and enjoyed hanging out with my family. Didn't watch any of the selection shows...and haven't yet filled out a bracket. I refuse to watch EsPN right now...I already know what they're saying, so don't need to hear it.
Sidebar- to all of the talking heads at that network and elsewhere, I have a request- Don't waste your time talking about Purdue next year. As Purdue rolled along two separate double-digit winning streaks, you bag of sucks were constantly looking to kick Matty's club in the collective groin. When Hummel went down, you had your shot and you seized it...you got to remove Purdue from anything positive...from your crappy "Lead" headlines, to soundbites from shiny-fat-faced know-nothings doing nothing but discrediting Purdue at every opportunity...Thanks for the pub, but no thanks.
Next year and after, we don't need you, we don't want any favors or "love". F the rankings, the highlight shows and premature studies of imaginary brackets that are never close to right. Purdue wasn't sexy this season...nobody like Turner who stares into the crowd and poses after every noteworthy play (and turns the ball over 10 times/gm)...nobody like Wall who's as good of an athlete as anyone in the nation and whines and bitches at everyone in his path...Nobody who's one-and-done. That's not going to change. One of our stars looks like the neighbor's kid who's got a heart of gold, but doesn't look like an athlete. The second is quiet and too thin...not enough moxy for you guys. The third is a tweener by NBA standards (great league, by the way) and is way too calm...and doesn't have enough personality for prime time. We hear aOSU has another guy you'll love who's coming in...just keep your cameras in Columbus.
We're Purdue. These teams are built around defense...that's not fun to watch, turn away, tune out. Anybody else outside the Purdue family, this request is for you too. Hell, start right now- Ignore Purdue in the NCAA tourney...shouldn't be too difficult for you.
Alright, onto the tourney draw.
Purdue faces a very good team. Siena is a small (around 3,000 students) Catholic school in New York...but I can guarantee you the neutral crowd will be pulling for the lower-seeded Saints.
Siena is 30th in the nation, according to realtimerpi. They have a four players that average 13 or more points/game. Nine of their players average 10 or more minutes of playing time a game. They average more steals/gm than Purdue and are an athletic, fast and strong team...but they're not tall. Their biggest player is 6'9" 225...but he plays taller- He'll give JJ trouble as he is aggressive on the glass as well.
Both Purdue and Siena played St. Joseph's- Purdue won 85-60, Siena won 92-75. Purdue played them at the end of November, Siena at the end of December.
They don't really have a signature win...in fact, their biggest win was against Northeastern, a team in the 70s, according to rpi and Pomeroy. You might have seen them lose to Butler in the bracket buster a month ago...they played Butler well for 30 minutes, but ended up losing by 17 at Hinkle. But, they're tournament-tested. Last year, they beat aOSU in the opening round of the tourney and they won their first round tourney game the year before. At the same time, Purdue has won 11-straight first round tourney games...something's gotta give.
Siena's team leaders are Seniors and Juniors- they remember the tourney success. But, they lost a key cog after last year's victory over aOSU. One of Siena's players (Clarence Jackson) is dinged up a la LewJack...gametime decision.
I've nosed around some message boards and read some comments from different outlets and Siena's fanbase is already looking ahead to, not the round of 32, but sweet 16. Sounds like Seth Davis and others have helped boost the Saints' confidence. Let's hope their players and coaches take Purdue just as lightly...but that's doubtful.
More to come as the week progresses.