I was sitting here watching the ESPN pregame show for Villanova at Syracuse earlier this evening. The show began with a debate about whether or not Syracuse deserved to be ranked number 1 if they beat the Wildcats tonight, given that Kansas and Kentucky had lost earlier in the day. The Gameday crew went back and forth about if they should leapfrog Kentucky, or if Kansas still deserved to be the #1 team. After going back and forth for a few minutes, Rece Davis (directly preceding a commercial break) basically said sorry Purdue you don't belong in this discussion and then mentioned that we needed to wait and see how our rankings and seeding would fall with the loss of Hummel.
It was at this moment that I decided I would be rooting for the Orange tonight. In fact, if they win, I want them to be ranked first, especially if the Boilers take care of business against the Spartans. I want Kramer, JJ, KG, and E'Twaun to see that no one thinks they are worthy. I want them to see that even if they win a tough road game against a desperate team who gave them their best shot, it doesn't matter. I want them to see that beating the defending national runner up, a top 15 team, doesn't matter. I want them to know that no one outside of that locker room and Purdue fans think that they can win another game without Robbie.
Even throughout the game, when it was clear that Villanova wasn't coming back to win it, the commentators began to discuss #1 seeds, with nary a word about the good guys in Old Gold and Black. They haven't even lost a game in weeks, and you would think that they had lost at home to LeMoyne and Penn State. "Forget it," is the word from Bristol, the Purdue Hummels are done for the year.
Why don't I want Purdue to be the top ranked team in the country? Simple, this team plays better angry. When Manny Harris knocked out Chris Kramer what happened? Purdue went on a 30-8 run and turned a close game into a slaughter. What happened when a "superior" Big East team came to Mackey this season, and the media declared that Purdue would finally be exposed? The Boilers put on a clinic and cruised to a 15 point victory (which could have easily been 30). When this team fell behind at Alabama, they came back with such force that fans were getting ejected in frustration. So, please, by all means, let them know how bad they are supposed to be now. All of these guys know how to read, and they know what getting leapfrogged by Syracuse means for how the pollsters think of them. I will say one thing though, if they beat the Spartans, I wouldn't want to play for IU or Penn State if the Orange are number 1 come Monday.
After the jump, we get to the Boilermakings.
Keaton Grant 'Playing Like a Senior' for Purdue Despite Losing Starting Job
MLive.com profiles KG.
It's Now or Never: Michigan State-Purdue Preview
The Only Colors previews the Michigan State-Purdue basketball game, in their always excellent fashion.
Chris Kramer Looks to Tie Purdue Steals Record Against Michigan State
Lost in all of the Hummel talk is the fact that Kramer needs one steal to tie the record and 2 to break it. Also, Keaton Grant needs 25 points to join the 1,000 point club. So that may happen against Michigan State or IU.
Purdue Won't Go Far Without Hummel
The Philidelphia Inquirer counts the Boilers among the dead.
Hummel's Injury Doesn't End All Hope for Boilers
The Fort Wayne New-Sentinel thinks we will be OK without Robbie.
Robbie Hummel Will Lead Team in Different Way After Injury
That different way is spiritually. Like the Pope, or the Dalai Lama, or Tom Cruise.
Purdue’s #1 Seed Now Up for Grabs
The blog Not Qualified to Comment has decided that the Boilers aren't getting a #1 seed. Aptly titled blog.
The Selection Committee's Dilemma: How to seed Purdue?
The Dagger on seeding the Boilers.
With Robbie Hummel Out, Purdue Still Formidable
Finally, some love from the Detroit Free Press.
Purdue Game Day Traditions
Adam Rittenburg has ridden in an elevator with Neil Armstrong.
NFL Combine Kicks Off
Mike Neal and David Pender look to make a splash. Purdue in recent history has had lots of players do very well in the combine. I would love for the Colts to take Neal, since they need a good DT. Where do you think Pender ends up?
Purdue's Boudia Defends Big Ten Crown
David Boudia went to Columbus to chew bubblegum and kick ass. They were out of bubblegum.