How about that, how about that?!?!
In the first win versus a top-10 opponent on the road since 1998, Purdue showed how much they continue to improve each game. I'll be honest, I thought Purdue would play the Badgers tough for 30 minutes and allow it to get out of hand at the end. I was wrong, very wrong. The game felt a ton like the Clemson contest from earlier this season- ranked opponent full of veterans...good offensive production by the Boilers and slowly, but surely, the home team fought back into the game. But this time, unlike the Boilers' game in South Carolina, Purdue closed out a very good team that has been nearly impossible to beat at the Kohl Center. How tough is it to beat Wisconsin at home? Here's how tough it is:
Only one other school to beat Wisconsin at home since 1998 is Illinois (in back-to-back seasons). That's it, that's the list. That's three losses in ten seasons.
So, what did Purdue accomplish? First, they are now solidly in the NCAA tournament. The Wofford loss has now officially been erased...Purdue has too many quality & road wins not to be invited to the ball. I don't give a damn if ESPN has them as an 7 or 8 seed again and has reservations about Purdue, the committee will not. Second, they brought Matt Painter even closer to being COTY in the Big Ten and possibly nationally. Lastly and most importantly, they have put themselves in a position to control their own destiny in the Big Ten race. With MSU coming into a hostile Mackey on Tuesday night, our Boilers can make things awfully difficult for IU & the Badgers down the stretch...and they can finish off the Spartans by winning their 10th straight conference game. (Sidenote: Thanks to a friend of my sister-in-law, I'll be in attendance, sitting in the lower level for that contest...sorry, had to gloat.)
I told you guys that Purdue could not hope to win the BT title without shooting better or playing even better defense...Tonight, Purdue shot 53% from the field (42% coming into the contest) and held the Badgers to 17% from behind the arc. I'm pretty sure Coach Painter is a regular visit to BS and my insight helped him focus his young team on taking better shots...Thus, you're welcome, Coach- Anything I can do to help my alma mater's team.
So who's my player of the game- Many say that's an easy choice, as Hummel scored a career high 21 points. I don't know if it's that easy since once again this team full of guys who are willing to play a role did just that once again. JuJuan Johnson had a big time drive with Landry guarding him that drew a foul and stabilized Purdue as Wisconsin was getting back into the game...Calasan scored the first 8 points (I think) of the game...Kramer also was huge during a 5 minute stretch late in the second half when he pretty much took over. All that said, I'll still give the nod to Hummel.
Thanks for nothing.
I just got finished watching ESPN's piece of crap college basketball show "Midnight Madness". Since Purdue made Wisconsin the highest-ranked team to lose on Saturday, at home no less, I was sure they'd be, if not THE top story, one of the top stories. No, no, instead, I had to wait until 22 minutes into the show to see Purdue highlights. It's funny, NO ONE on the ESPN college basketball team predicted Purdue to win tonight, but after it happened, it was treated as if it wasn't that big of a deal. Suck it, ESPN...Suck it, Digger Phelps.
No matter, keep winning and even Phelps will be forced to talk about Purdue basketball in all of its glory.
So long, Paint City. We hardly knew ye.
In a typical Purdue administrative move, the new tradition of a city of tents outside of Mackey Arena has been banned by the Purdue Athletic Department and the Purdue Administration. As students set up their tents on Friday afternoon, they were warned by members of the athletic department that the Police would get involved if they weren't off of the premises by 5:00 pm. Coach Painter loved it, ex-coach Keady loved it, the students were having a great time with it...of course it gets torn down. Perfect. That stinks.
I've heard it's academic concerns (funny, those slack-jawed Duke students do it) or fear of the cold weather (MSU students have a similar tradition in balmy East Lansing) that caused the Janet Reno-esque handling of Paint City by Burke, Cordova & Co. While it doesn't surprise me, this move by "the man" at Purdue pisses me off.