Though Purdue is a regular in the women's NCAA Tournament, making it this season for the 20th time in the last 21 seasons, they are in a bit of a dry spell. The Boilermakers have not made it past the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2009. For the past three season Purdue has reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but it has fallen to Louisville (2013), South Carolina (2012) and Connecticut (2011) in each of the past three second rounds.
Still, Purdue is on quite a run heading into tonight's 9 p.m. game against Oklahoma State. The Boilers have won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament since losing in the first round in 1996. That made this year the 17th straight NCAA appearance in which Purdue has won at least one game, which is impressive combined with the men's current active streak of 14 straight opening round victories.
Purdue men's and women's basketball: We may not win the whole thing, but we'll hang around a bit.
Just like two years ago, Purdue is a No. 4 seed playing on its home floor against a No. 5 seed in the second round. The Boilers are coming off of a convincing 84-55 win over Akron, while Oklahoma State survived an overtime game against Florida Gulf Coast. The Cowgirls are 24-8, while Purdue is 22-8.
The teams have had similar seasons so far. Both were in the middle of their respective conferences with some surprising losses as well as a few impressive wins. For Oklahoma State, their nemesis has been Baylor, who happens to be the No. 2 seed in this region. OSU has lost to Baylor three times this season, 69-66 in OT, 81-64, and 65-61 in the Big 12 Tournament. West Virginia also beat them twice, and they are the No. 2 seed in the Louisville region. Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa State also got them.
OSU got a 63-57 win over Michigan State in December, and the Spartans lost to Michigan State 89-73. It will be the first ever meeting in women's basketball between the schools.
Let's hope this goes better than the men's basketball meeting back in November or the Heart of Dallas Bowl in January 2013. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and the winner is headed to South Bend with a likely game against undefeated Notre Dame looming. Consider this the Open Thread for the game.