For those of you that don't know, I am currently a student at Purdue with plans to graduate in May. I've been around this town for five years now, and have been watching the basketball team since the days of Carl Landry and David Teague. Hell, we were all crushed to find out our "clutch three-point shooter" Chris Lutz would be transferring closer to home going into my sophomore year. Needless to say, things have changed a bit since then. So where are we now?
These days, expectations run high. If you aren't contending for a Big10 Title at least, then you're under-performing. You better be in contention for a Final Four appearance. No excuses. Defend with your feet, shoot lights-out, make your free throws, come through in the clutch. This team has the talent, with or without a torn ACL, and the fans won't accept anything less than the best, especially at home.
What does Purdue fandom look like on Gameday? Well I suppose the best way to describe it is with this awesome video.
College Gameday was scheduled when Purdue was considered a National Title Contender. This is not to say that we aren't any longer, but I've said it many times and I'll say it again: the face of college basketball can change overnight. However, with the performance we've seen over the past number of weeks, Purdue has reestablished itself nationally as an elite team. This brings us to the campus.
People were shocked at how close Penn State stayed with us at home. Anyone that knows anything about Big10 basketball knows that Penn State is going to play anyone close at home, though. They're the Wildcard. However, to the casual fan, Penn State looks like two easy conference wins. Now people are nervous and anticipating this weekend. Michigan State is not a joking matter, regardless of their record or their recent form.
With College Gameday coming to West Lafayette, things are really starting to gear up around here. It's the hot topic on everyones' lips, and hopefully that converts to a ton of people making it on Saturday morning. Hell, there's even a group of my own friends that are going out tonight to celebrate this once-in-a-college-career event. We are banking on a number of loud alarms to get us out of bed early enough to make it to the Gameday fun.
The Paint Crew was working on breaking the record for the number of people in line for tickets for tomorrow night's game (during which they would be giving out Gameday tickets too), but the University declared the weather too severe to allow overnight camping. Needless to say, the heads of the Paint Crew (and the members themselves) were disappointed.
So what's the feel of campus? Nervous, anticipating, and ready. More than anything, people are excited and ready for national recognition of the Purdue Basketball program this season. We aren't concerned with road losses, ACL's, or Tom Izzo. We are ready for some elite basketball against a top-flight conference opponent in our house.
WHOSE HOUSE? OUR HOUSE!