Rubber Match...and other notes

I feel this way about our Boilers- they don't fear anybody...almost to a fault. With the exception of Duke this season, no team has been able to intimidate Purdue...and when Purdue plays teams that have previously beaten them, they seem to play harder, more aggressively and generally more-focused (read as except Illinois).

So, when Purdue soundly-beat PSU after losing in Happy Valley, I wasn't surprised- so how will this evening's contest go? My thought is this- Purdue, in spite of backing into the tournaments, in spite of playing with great lethargy is in a quite-enviable position. There are no expectations on our Boilers, very few teams fear Purdue, and everyone's healthy. Plus, I've always liked Matt Painter as a motivator against teams that have beaten his teams (except Illinois)...He seems to know the buttons to push to motivate his young squad into pissing them off enough that they play with a chip on their shoulder.

My brother and I have both coached some grade school and high school basketball. We always like to think about what we'd do to prepare a team in a similar situation. If I was in Matty's shoes, here's what I'd do- Tell the world how great this team is...Pull a Lou Holtz, "No one can guard Talor Battle, Pringle is the 2 in the nation, Cornley is a brutal force that is unstoppable..." etc.

But in the locker room, I might say things differently. I'd first show them the score of the game in Happy Valley saying, "If you don't respect them and play well, you're capable of losing to these guys..." But I'd follow it up by saying, "But, you're better than they are. If you guys play hard, know your roles and play team basketball, this opponent simply will not beat you. Let's remind everybody who we are."

But, I'm not the coach, I'm just a dude who cares too much about Purdue basketball and gets paid nothing to do it...I'm looking forward to watching the game on BTN tonight at 9:00, but would gladly go with someone if they want to give me tickets!!

If you were watching the 'Cuse/UConn game last night in the second half, I'm pretty sure you were like me and couldn't stop watching it. The simple fact that it was so back-and-fourth and the Orange(men) were about .05 seconds too late on an improbable last-second shot made it tough to turn away from. But, one of the most interesting parts of the game was the fact that no one in MSG seemed to be enjoying themselves except the EsPN crew. Fans, coaches and players all seemed to be in pain...Granted, the players were probably cramping up and felt lead-footed as the extra stanza repeated 6 times, but the crumudgeon Calhoun and whiny Boeheim really didn't help their players outlook with their body language. It was astounding to me how Flynn, who played 67 minutes still seemed to have spring in his step, even in the closing seconds.

I remember this one time, back when I wasn't fat and was young, I ran for 67 seconds...those were the days.

Greatest Game?
The greatest game is a completely-subjective moniker thrown around too often, but last night's contest would definitely be in the discussion of many college basketball fans. That said, part of what makes a game great is when it happens, where it happens and versus whom.

I started thinking about what some of Purdue's greatest games were. The first one that popped in my mind was in Ass Hall when Chad Austin shot a dagger into the heart of Knight's Hoosiers in OT...but one of my favorites was Purdue v. Illinois in Champaign in 1986 (I believe). Doug Lee kept Purdue alive in regulation and ended up winning the game improbably in double OT. It's memorable to me because I was in 6th grade...and in spite of the game ending so late, my Dad let me stay up and watch it with he and my older brother.

So, in your opinion, what's the greatest Purdue basketball game...or greatest basketball game you've ever seen?

And Boom Goes The Dynamite

Best game ever?