As we are just mere hours away from tonight’s tip off against Kansas it’s final prediction time. No going back from these, they are online forever. Since I’m posting I will go first.
How do you measure success in sports? I know it’s a strange question but it’s one I’ve been thinking about with this team. They won the conference. Is that success? Yes, but is it the right kind of success? Is it the success the team wants. What about getting to the Sweet 16? Is that success? Again, yes but is it enough? When you’re a division I basketball player you know that your odds of winning the title are slim, and therefore your odds of having a “successful” season are relatively low. Only one team walks away having truly been a success in every sense of the word. Only one team gets to win the final game in the NCAA Tournament. Will Purdue be that team? Can Purdue be that team? I don’t know.
Kansas is a tough matchup since they have two incredibly tough players. Mason and Jackson are going to be trouble for Purdue there’s no way around that. Purdue has faced a lot of really good point guards this year so Mason scares me a bit less than Jackson does but that doesn’t diminish what Mason could do to Purdue if he has one of his better games. It doesn’t help Purdue that this game is in Kansas City which is much closer to KU’s campus than Purdue’s campus. Let’s hope the team can thrive off that negative energy as they’ve done throughout this season.
Regardless of the outcome tonight I think this season has been a success. This team has brought Purdue back to where a lot of us expect them to be. Now, whether those expectations are realistic or not is an entirely other story. The question now is does the season end tonight. My brain tells me yes but my gut tells me no. Who to trust?
Purdue 81, Kansas 84
The Legend Says:
78-73 - Purdue - Suck it Ainters
I am going to be the pessimist. Kansas is an extremely good team and I don't think we really have an answer for Jackson and Mason. I also don't think Haas and Swanigan are going to get a lot of help with the contact they absorb in the paint, and they will probably need it. I can see Haas getting a cheap offensive foul for being too big about 45 seconds after he enters. I can see Swanigan having a 6 turnover game. I can see Kansas pulling away late to win by about 10-12
At what point do we recognize that this isn't last year's team? That this team is tough, mentally and physically, and that they've grown into not just a good team, or a really really good team, but a great one? The pieces are all there. Caleb Swanigan is the best big man in the country, Dakota Mathias the most underrated, Vincent Edwards the most forgotten, and Haas might be the best sixth man in the country. They showed how good they could be against Iowa State by jumping out to a 19 point lead. Then, when the inevitable run was coming, they iced it with clutch shots and grit. F*ck the haters. They want to keep saying the same crap about Painter? About Purdue? Good, tell em to get the hell off the train. We've got this.
Purdue 72, Kansas 67
We have to take care of the ball. Turnovers are what lose games for us. PJ does a great job but in the post we turn it over way too often. If the bigs can take care of the ball without turnovers that lead to easy buckets, we will be in good shape.
Purdue 82, Kansas 78