This is a short week for me. I fly out at Wednesday for a much needed vacation in the M-I-A to see my wife's family, some baseball, and general drunken mayhem in both Key West and Coconut Grove. While I can already taste Fat Tuesday's in Key West on Thursday, there is still plenty of news to talk about in Boilermakings.
- Women beat Rutgers 67-61, advance to Elite 8 - Well, we said it could be a Final Four year this season, we just don't know which Final Four. The Purdue women's team held off Rutgers last night and appear to be playing their best basketball at the right time. They lead by as many as 16 last night, but Rutgers cut it to two in the final minutes. Purdue's senior leadership prevailed in the end. FahKara Malone hit a tough jumper as the shot clock expired that gave Purdue some needed breathing space. KiKi Freeman had 18, while Lindsay Wysdom-Hilton was strong in the post. They face Oklahoma tomorrow night at 9pm for the right to move on to the women's Final Four. Their task won't be easy. Oklahoma boast 6'4" Courtney Paris, who has promised to pay back her scholarship if the Sooners don't win the national title. It is also a virtual home game for the Sooners in Oklahoma City. I will have an open thread up, but I don't know how much I'll be able to contribute. My flight leaves at 7am Wednesday morning, so it is going to have to be an early night.
- Boudia crowned two-time National Champion - Purdue does not have a strong swimming and diving history. Before this weekend, Purdue had exactly one individual national champion in 89 years of swimming and diving competition. Freshman David Boudia won two this weekend and came up just short of a third at the NCAA championships. Boudia didn't just win the 10-meter platform and 3-meter springboard competitions, he blew everyone else away. He set a new meet record in the platform by more than 50 points. As a freshman there is much expected of him in the coming years as well. Also at the meet diver David Colturi earned All-American honors, as did junior Kyle Mitrione.
- Baseball splits opening Big Ten weekend - Purdue (10-10, 1-1)managed to win its Big Ten baseball opener Friday afternoon, topping Northwestern 4-3 as starter Matt Bischoff struck out 10 in a complete game. Game two did not go as well, as Northwestern pounded Purdue 13-4 to end a five game winning streak. Sunday's third and final game was cancelled due to 4 inches of snow in the Chicago area. Louisville (17-8), which has been in and out of the top 25 this season, comes to Lambert Field on Tuesday afternoon for one of the biggest non-conference home games in recent history. To my knowledge, this is one of the few times a recent College World Series participant (2007 in Louisville's case) has come to play at Purdue. The Cardinals have already taken two of three from Big Ten foe Iowa earlier this season. The Boilers then travel to IPFW on Wednesday before hosting Iowa (9-12, 1-2) in a three game set this weekend.
- Softball also gets weekend split - The women's softball team split a pair of games this past weekend. Thursday the ladies took on bowling Green in a double-header. Purdue won game one 17-2, but only earned a split by dropping the second game 8-7. Purdue then returned home for some Big Ten action and hosted Minnesota on Saturday and Sunday. Purdue blew a 4-0 lead in game one, losing 6-4 to the Gophers, but managed to grab Sunday's game 2-1 behind a third inning home run off the bat of Candace Curtis. Purdue (18-10, 3-1) travels to defending Big Ten champs and national power Michigan this weekend for a pair of games. The Wolverines have stumbled out of the gate by losing their first two conference games at Northwestern, but they are still ranked 11th. Saturday's game at Michigan will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.
- Performance by Purduettes nearly rings the house down - literally! In this story from the Journal and Courier, a small fire during a performance Saturday night at the Elliot Hall of Music ended the show early. Fortunately no one was hurt and it was quickly contained.