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2018 NCAA Tournament: Purdue All-Time vs. East Region

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Purdue has a guaranteed first time opponent, then it could play one of its most common non-conference foes.

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I know that none of the current players have much to do with Purdue’s history against its NCAA Tournament opponents, but it is fun to look back and see what we have done against them in the past. Thanks to the Purdue media guide we have a detailed history of how Purdue has done against every team in its region. Let’s take a look:

First Round

Cal State Fullerton Titans – First Meeting

Purdue has never played Cal State Fullerton, and it has played only three teams from the current makeup of the Big West Conference. It is 6-3 against the league, going 3-2 against Hawaii, 2-1 against Long beach State, and 1-0 against Cal State Northridge. The most recent game was against Northridge, as Purdue started the 2009-10 season by blowing them out 109-73.

Second Round

Arkansas Razorbacks – 1-1

Purdue’s lone win over Arkansas came in 1938. The Razorbacks were ranked 9th in the 1983 NCAA tournament when they beat Purdue 78-68 in the second round in Tampa. Against the SEC Purdue is 39-26 all-time, with its most recent game coming this year in the loss to Tennessee.

Butler Bulldogs – 38-19

Butler is by far the team we are most familiar with in this bracket, and a second round game would be a rematch of this year’s Crossroads Classic. Purdue was in control throughout and put all five starters in double figures during the 82-67 win back in December. It broke a five game losing streak to the Bulldogs dating back to December 19, 1998.

Sweet 16

Florida Gators – 4-3

This is another relatively recent opponent. Purdue beat Florida 85-70 in the Hall of Fams tournament just two seasons ago, so there is some familiarity there if both teams make it that far. The programs also met in the second round of the 2007 tournament when Purdue gave the defending NCAA champs quite a game before falling 74-67 in the second round. That Florida team went on to win a second straight NCAA championship.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies – 0-2

It has been quite a while since we have played the Bonnies. The last matchup came in the 1971 NIT, won by St. Bonaventure 94-79.

UCLA Bruins – 3-10

Most famously both of Purdue’s losses in Final Fours have come at the hands of UCLA. We have not beaten them since a 75-74 win at the old Lambert Fieldhouse on December 18, 1959. Since then, Purdue has dropped eight in a row. The most recent meeting was an 87-82 loss on December 30, 2000 in Mackey Arena. Purdue lost to John Wooden coaches UCLA teams four times, including the first game at Mackey Arena in 1967 and the 1969 National title game.

Texas Tech Red Raiders – 2-0

As fun as it would have been to schedule Texas Tech when Bob Knight as there, it never happened. The only meetings with them occurred in 1987 and 1988, a home and home where Purdue won both games. The last game was a 63-54 win for Purdue in Lubbock on December 1, 1988. There is a subtle history, however. The Red Raiders are coached by Chris Beard, who was in charge of Little Rock two years ago.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks – First Meeting

Purdue has never played SFA, and it is a spotless 10-0 against the Southland Conference. The most recent game against a Southland foe was the 96-61 win over Incarnate Word during the 2015-16 season.

Elite Eight

Villanova Wildcats – 0-3

We nearly played them earlier this year, but the most recent game was last season’s opener, where Villanova became the only non-conference team of the last three seasons to win in Mackey Arena 79-76. We also had the infamous D.J. Byrd game in 2012.

LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds – 1-0

If by some miracle we’re playing LIU-Brooklyn or Radford we could become the most hated team in America. Imagine being the team that eliminates the first ever 16-over-1 victor just a game from the Final Four. It would be like euthanizing a puppy. We did beat them 119-95 on 11/14/1997, however.

Radford Highlanders – 1-0

The 2001-02 season sucked. It was Gene Keady’s first losing season. We had no home game against Indiana and by the end of the year I was one of 5 students left in the original Gene Pool. At least we beat Radford 91-84 on November 21st.

Virginia Tech Hokies – 1-2

One of the marquee non-conference wins by the 2010-11 team was a 58-55 overtime victory at Virginia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. To date that is our lone win over VaTech, with both losses coming back in the 60s.

Alabama Crimson Tide – 5-3

For a while there we were playing Alabama all the time. Purdue swept a home-and home in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The next year we lost to them 65-56 in the championships of the Puerto Rico Tipoff. Alabama is also in our exempt event next season, as they join us in the Charleston Classic in November.

West Virginia Mountaineers – 7-1

Purdue should be familiar with West Virginia. Matt Painter’s teams played them four times in five seasons in the rare double home-and-home, winning three from 2010 to 2013. We have also scrimmaged them to begin each of the last two seasons, but YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT SECRET SCRIMMAGE!

Murray State Racers – 2-0

Always the class of the Ohio Valley, Purdue as played them twice. The last came in 1999, a 95-67 win in Mackey Arena.

Wichita State Shockers – 4-2

Purdue played Wichita State in four consecutive seasons back in the 80s, but not at all since. The last meeting was a 62-54 win at Wichita State on 12/18/1989. Wichita State has not beaten Purdue since 1962.

Marshall Thundering Herd – 1-0

The only meeting here was a 79-74 Purdue win at Mackey on 1/30/1971.