For Real.

Did Hummel foul him on that last shot? Some think so, others think the offensive player initiated the contact...Regardless, there was no whistle. And on a rare occasion, a Purdue team finished off a very strong opponent on a national stage.

With a bit over a minute to play and a sliver-thin lead over the eleventh-ranked team in America, Purdue came out of a timeout with something unexpected- Smiling faces and a loose, but focused demeanor. It could be that this is a group of players that doesn't feel pressure or it could simply be their youth. Regardless, this team plays hard and has a good time while doing it. And they didn't steal a victory against a good team Saturday evening, they fought and earned the victory against one of their peers atop the Big Ten.

You already know that it's been a while since Purdue has beaten a highly-ranked opponent at Mackey...but this is more important for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that Purdue might contend for a Big Ten title with a team led by a bunch of Freshmen. Second, many of the students simply don't know and don't think of Purdue as a basketball power. Mackey used to be a feared venue that was simply owned by Purdue...mainly because of the intensity of the fanbase. That intensity faded away with Keady's career...But this young team seems to have resurrected the Mackey of old.

The tent city that is becoming a tradition outside of Mackey prior to home games shows that the students are buying in...and the fact that the arena is once-again selling out consistently shows that the greater Purdue family is believing too.

My brother-in-law is a Junior up at my alma mater and he was lamenting at the beginning of the school year that he hasn't been around a truly great basketball or football team...in fact, his Purdue career has been marked with mediocre football, one over-achieving basketball team and one lousy rebuilding team. Following Hummel's clutch free throws, the clock hit 0:00 and my brother-in-law ran on to Keady Court with his fellow students. While a celebration of this kind was warranted since this type of win is new to the group, it seems that a bunch of quickly-maturing underclassmen are destined to make victories like this commonplace in Mackey once-again.

I didn't expect 'em to be ranked...but come on.

Weekend Sports Notes

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