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2016 Big Ten Tournament: Michigan State 66, Purdue 62

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Purdue comes up just short against Michigan State in the title game.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue had its chance.

After being down 10 at halftime the Boilermakers fought one of the best teams in the country well into the final minute. With 19 points from Vince Edwards and a critical 7 in the second half from Johnny Hill Purdue had a chance to knock off the No. 2 team in America for a second time and potentially get a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It didn't happen.

It is a frustrating loss to be sure, because there were so many chances against an excellent MSU team.

  • Down 52-51 with 7:27 left Denzel Valentine missed a jumper. He got his own rebound and kicked it out to Bryn Forbes for a huge three-pointer, however. Second chance points and rebounds killed Purdue. Had Purdue won the glass as usual, it wins, but Michigan State is very, very good.
  • With 2:50 left Rapheal Davis was fouled attacking the basket. He hit the first free throw, but missed the second, costing Purdue a chance to tie.
  • Hill forced a turnover on the next possession, however, and Purdue had another chance. An ill-advised three from Davis was rebounded by Hill, but Davis missed again with 2:04 left. Why A.J. Hammons did not get a touch there, I don't know.
  • With 1:48 left Valentine hit an absurd shot to put MSU in front by three. It was ridiculous and what great players do.
  • After Vince Edwards made a free throw to make it 64-62 Purdue had another chance after a defensive stop. Caleb Swanigan then took one of the most ill-advised threes I have ever seen in any situation. By my count there were at least 7 seconds left on the shot clock. Again: down one with the ball we didn't get it to Hammons.
  • Matt Costello missed the front-end of a one-and-one after Davis committed a foul when Purdue could have held for a stop. Purdue got the rebound and Hill had a lane to the basket to tie. It was Costello who came in to block it from behind, and Forbes sealed it at the line. I don't have a problem with Hill driving there. In fact, it is what we needed all game. He had a lane and Costello made a great play. There may or may not have been a foul, but they are going to call it short of assault in that situation.
So that is that. A.J Hammons and Vince Edwards were named to the all-Tournament team, but now the real tournament begins. Purdue still has an excellent chance to go very far and may even still get rewarded with a three seed, but we'll see. This is the type of team we need to beat in order to reach Houston and we did do it once. We were damn close here, too.

So what if we can't hang a BTT banner in Mackey. Let's go get a Final Four one instead.