Sure, CBS gambled that Purdue would be playing for a regular season BT title and they lost the gamble. On an afternoon that could have been pretty great, in spite of itself, the day turned out darned good.
The day started out a bit rough in the boilerdowd household. The time change didn't give my son his normal amount of sleep...so instead of him waking us up with gibberish, we were forced to get him out of his slumber. He wasn't happy. He whined and cried for about 15 minutes, mostly angry that Indiana isn't on Central time like it should be. But later, his day got better and so did mine.
Hoosiers Back Into BT Tourney
I got to watch Penn State battle with a beleaguered IU squad all the way to a pretty surprising upset. Even Jordan's double-pump three point effort at the end couldn't get it done for the floundering Hoosiers. While I always appreciate seeing IU lose, I do have to say something to DeChallis and Co. You're a week late! No, you couldn't help us when something was actually on the line...but at least you guys came through. Much appreciated. In a way, the way IU is ending the season is not the best thing,from a Purdue perspective, as I like Dakich and would much rather see him there next season than say Bruce Pearl (which is now going around)...But I'm sure they don't care about my perspective in Bloomington.
Now, with the BTT field set, It looks like a Purdue v. IU matchup might be in the very near future...can't wait.
Strong Finish To A Strong Season
Next, we got to see the slow-starting Boilers play up in Ann Arbor versus the disappointing Wolverines. Michigan looked motivated and ready to play. Purdue, conversely, looked like it took a bit to get into gear. Once they did, E'Twaun Moore shot very well hitting key buckets in the paint, from behind the arc and in between. Hummel played another well-rounded game and Keaton Grant absolutely took the game over with about 9:00 left becoming the only offensive output three-straight trips down the court. I think he was sick of me badmouthing him and asking, "where have you been Keaton?" during the last couple of games. Good to see Grant's knees allowed him to contribute again offensively. Kramer was stout on defense, but suspect, especially when handling the ball, on offense. An interesting aspect of the game was how versus a sizeable frontcourt, JJ played well and nearly took the game over in the first half. It seems he just doesn't believe, yet, that he can do that versus talented bigs. He will next year and he gave us a glimpse of how good he might be during the last couple of games. Marcus Green also cleaned the glass nicely, but continues to shoot pretty poorly.
My favorite part of the contest was the fact that Purdue, in a very businesslike effort simply ground down Michigan and finished the game (and the season) strong. I was worried about this team after the aOSU game since they looked so tired during overtime, but that wasn't the case this afternoon. We'll get to see how fresh their legs are next weekend.
Alright, something I don't like talking about, but will do so right now- Women's basketball. I'll be real honest, when the Lady Boilers lost by a million earlier this season on CBS to UConn, I was hoping that was enough to get the program shut down. Sadly, Purdue still has a women's team. So, if we're going to have a women's basketball team, I want them to succeed and bring no poor press upon the school (i.e. cheating, lesbian initiation activity, etc.). What they did this afternoon is pretty astonishing, even for a guy who really, really dislikes women's basketball. The Lady Boilers won their 7th (in 14 tries) Big Ten basketball tournament. So despite a pretty lousy season, they'll be playing post-season basketball. Good for them. Once they're knocked out, maybe the program will cease to exist...Wishful thinking.