Angry Sparty forces Pete to lose bowel control. Boilers rolled 74-56.

That train wasn't wrecked...it's just lying down for a nap.

Coming in, J and I had a rotten feeling about this one. We looked at MSU's players, we looked at their legendary coach and we said, "these guys and this record don't belong together."

Everyone who watches college basketball knew they had this in them. And not many, myself included understood why Sparty played like it did all season. Well, thanks to our Boilers, the sleeping giant was seemingly awakened this evening in Indy...all as Purdue slumbered.

The game started out poorly. The deficit was into double digits before the half way point in the half. But it wasn't over. As Kalin Lucas put on a gimpy shooting clinic Purdue sagged back on defense, didn't deny him the ball and allowed him to get clean look after clean look. Just before the half, Purdue was shooting 0% from behind the arc...MSU was white hot at 83%. As the lead swelled to nearly 15 and the minutes got small in the first half, Purdue had 20 points...and so did Lucas.

At the advent of the second half, it felt another Columbus '11-type performance. The halftime adjustments that Painter usually brilliantly orchestrates were no where to be found. MSU was like a bully with its hand on the forehead of the wimpy kid on the playground...and Purdue played the patsy to a tee until about the midway of the second half.

But before Purdue joined the contest, they simply weren't able to stop MSU. They were dominated on the glass, did not shoot well and continually played off the ball...and after more than a game and one-half of this, Painter's frustration boiled over. In an event that happens with the regularity of Haley's Comet making a fly-by earth, Matty was teched up after watching JJ get grabbed and battered one-too-many times in the blocks. Gene Keady's technical fouls used to wake up the likes of Steve Reid, Troy Lewis and Porter Roberts...but the message took a few minutes to sink in to the lethargic Boilers. In fact, the rarity of the event wasn't enough as it took another ten minutes for Purdue to find a heart beat.

After being continually slapped around and kept down by around 15 points, Purdue finally cut the lead to single digits...then they went cold one last time. About five minutes passed without Purdue scoring and the game was over. The Boilers fell back into a listless sleep, and as Sparty stepped on the Purdue's collective throat, they simply drifted into dreamland. They probably didn't feel a thing.

For those keeping score at home, that's two straight games in which The Forces of Good have been in a carb-induced food coma. The lightning fast, swarming, frustrating and maddening defensive juggernaut that scored in bunches has been replaced with a slow-footed, small-hearted unrecognizable team that makes bad decisions and plays a fragmented style of basketball.

Fundamentals and unmatched effort are the things that have made Purdue teams great. They make their free throws, play physical, unrelenting defense, and get after loose balls. Painter's teams are also normally great at picking eachother up. The sum of their parts is almost always greater than the individuals within the system. But the last two games, this team has not showed the effort, ability, continuity or, most damning, the heart. That one stings...and it makes no sense.

Sure, MSU was playing for its life...and before them, Iowa was playing to send their Senior off with a win. But, Purdue's lofty perch near the top of the nation is now a memory. The discussions of a possible one seed or two seed in Chicago are long gone. How far has Purdue slipped in the eyes of the committee? Are they a 4 or worse? Probably. If Purdue gets shipped as far West as the national border will allow, and they have to play an upstart 29-win, high-RPI mid-major, they have no one to blame but themselves. Oh, and when we hear all week about how Purdue isn't favored and doesn't have a chance, as fans, we'd better not get angry. Our Alma Mater made this bed over the last two games, now they have to lie in it.

A Beautiful Body Catches the Committee's Eye (and notes)

A look at the numbers v. MSU

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