Contrarian / Provocative Thought

I'm still pissed about how our team performed last night. I can handle losing when shots just aren't falling, the other team's best player has an historic night, or your plain beaten by a better team. Last night wasn't any of those.

I'm trying to see a silver lining in the cloud, and this was the best that I could come up with. Hear me out and then tell me why I'm crazy.

The B1G is an extremely physical league. It's so much so that our teams traditionally have not fared very well in the NCAA Tournament. Aside from Michigan under Beilien, nobody has had much success in the Big Dance (and even Michigan couldn't get a Championship). The style of play within the B1G regular season is beloved by our fans, and so the physical grind reciprocates every year only to lose its luster when our teams flame out the in the NCAA Tournament.

Purdue has been the embodiment of the prototypical B1G team. We've played suffocating defense and methodical offense that grind more talented opponents to a pulp in route to regular season titles. However, we - like our B1G peers - tend to flame out earlier than expected in the NCAA Tournament as our style of play doesn't translate.

What if, and this is a big IF, this Purdue team is different? What if, we are not built to dominate the B1G regular season, but are instead built to succeed in the NCAA Tournament?

Crazy talk, I know. It's hard to look past our point guard, defensive, and mental deficiencies to see how our recent performances add up to those of a team better geared for the NCAA Tournament than the B1G regular season. However, is that just because we are conditioned to seeing something different? Our least physical team in recent memory, the 2019 squad, is the one that made our deepest NCAA run and was the closest we've ever been to the Final Four promise land. This team is even less physical. Ivey has not show capability to ignite to a Carsen Edwards level yet, but he has the tools and is more physically gifted and it's arguable he has a more talented supporting cast (particularly on the front court). This team seems to love playing the way that they did against FSU, Nova, and UNC. The B1G is unlikely to allow them to do that, but the NCAA Tournament just might.

Fire away!

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