Let's hear it, doubters. Let's hear how Purdue's season is over. Let's hear how they can't succeed with the current team, which "only" features two stars. Didn't some of you say the season was over back when Rob Hummel got hurt? I'm pretty sure you did. Purdue was considered a top 5 team with Rob...and barely top 20 without him.
Well, in the last week, Purdue took down Wisconsin and Ohio State...back to back. The number 2 and 10 teams in the nation. Sure, they were at home, but that's where you must dominate. Ask MSU or Illinois how much they'd like to be unbeaten at home this year and how hard it is to accomplish.
We're now getting lectured on Twitter by OSU fans about how we manufactured this chip on our collective shoulders. And that's pretty typical -- a fanbase so arrogant they're going to tell us how our team is viewed and tell us how we should react. You'd think they'd have some respect for the fact that nobody in Mackey rushed the court, unlike in Madison. But that'd be silly. Enough about them, though. This post is about the winners.
E'Twaun Moore, about whom Seth Davis doesn't think too much, as Boilerdowd told you earlier this week. Seth even went so far as to say Smooge is small and unathletic. Of course, today he poured in half of Purdue's points (38) against a team full of potential NBA players. Moore also became only the fifth Boilermaker ever to amass 2,000 career points. Not a bad second-to-last home game for one of our favorite players.
Today was about greatness in a lot of ways. OSU, no matter what you think of them, is a very good (or great) team. They came in with one loss and are among the favorites for not only a #1 seed in the tourney, but they'll likely be a popular pick for the Final Four and/or national title. Beating a team with those credentials (and who whupped you a month ago) is a showing of greatness on the Boilers' part. E'Twaun Moore's career day also included five assists, four rebounds, two steals...and 70% from beyond the arc. That's pretty damn great.
It was also great to do this in a national game on CBS, just a few weeks before the committee decides seeding. Last year, the Boilers finished far from great, and it affected their seed in a major way. Hopefully, this is a harbinger of a strong Purdue finish to the season.
And, finally, the fans were great. B-Dowd was there and he'll surely weigh in some more on this one, including the experience in Mackey, but it was clear to those of us watching that it was a madhouse. What was also fun was the sense of Purdue family I've been noticing recently. Maybe it's just the modern-day convenience of social media, but no matter where we are, it often feels like all of us in the Purdue family are watching in one living room or bar (yeah, knowing most of you....a bar). We're all fiercely supporting our boys and continuing to believe. So much so, in fact, that there was no court-storming today. And it's not just because there was an expectation of victory. I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that, yes, this win was huge...and critical. But it's far from the desired end game. This isn't the pinnacle. There is more to come. More goals to achieve. More big games to win.
As Coach Painter said back in October, the goals remain the same.