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2022 NCAA Tournament: Purdue Named #3 Seed in East Region

The Boilers will open the tournament in Milwaukee against Yale.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament- Purdue vs Michigan State Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Purdue Boilermakers finished the regular season with a loss in the Big Ten Tournament Championship to Iowa, but they will still be a #3 seed in the East Region where they will play Yale in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Purdue finished the season 27-7 with all seven of their losses happening within Big Ten play, including falling to Iowa, 75-66, in the Big Ten Tournament Championship.

Purdue swept their non conference slate, including winning the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic by beating North Carolina and Villanova.

Purdue’s season has been a strange, successful, and disappointing narrative all in one. Purdue claimed their first ever #1 ranking after defeating Iowa for the first time on December 3rd 77-70 to move to 8-0.

Voter rewarded Purdue with being ranked as the best team in the country for the first time in their stories history. It didn’t last for long though as Purdue dropped their very next game, to Rutgers on the road on a half court heave by Ron Harper Jr. Purdue was a top-10 ranked team all season, but they lost four games at the buzzer that cost them their conference title and a #1 seed.

They could have claimed part of the Big Ten title with a victory over Michigan State or Wisconsin on the road. Instead, Michigan State won on a last second buzzer beater and Wisconsin banked in two last second shots to hold off Purdue in the Kohl’s Center.

While luck might not have been on Coach Painter’s side this season and in recent tournament games, it’s undeniable that talent definitely is.

Jaden Ivey was named 1st team all Big Ten and dominated the end of season conference tournament. He’s a soon to be top-5 pick in the NBA and the most dynamic guard in the country. He finished the season averaging 17 points, 4.9 rebound, and 3.1 assists a game.

But Purdue’s dominance might be defined by their big men, Trevion Williams and Zach Edey. They are the best 1-2 punch in the post in the country.

Together they average 26 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 assists. It’s as dominating a front court as you’ll ever find in the NCAA tournament.

While Purdue’s been the most efficient offense all season, they’ve struggled to knock down three-pointers to finish the season. Sasha Stefanovic, Purdue’s sharp shooter, went just 3 of 14 in the Big Ten Tournament. while Purdue made just 18 three pointers in their three tournament games. They’ll need to be more prolific and efficient to finally get over the Elite Eight curse.

Coach Painter has risen to one of the most respected and well-liked coaches in college basketball. He’s turned Purdue into one of Big Ten’s most successful teams in the last decade, but March Madness success still eludes them. They’ve never made it to the Final Four under Coach Painter.

Last season, Purdue was upset as the #4 seed by North Texas.

This season they will take on the Ivy league before looking at a bracket with some heavy hitters, including last season’s national champions, #1 seed Baylor University. They will also be staring down a Sweet Sixteen match up with the #2 seed Kentucky Wildcats.

But to do that they might have to vanquish some ghosts against Texas’s coach Chris Beard who defeated Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen in 2018 when he was coaching at Texas Tech.

Purdue did not get the seed draw or location they most wanted. There will be no in-state games in Indianapolis, but less than four hours away in Milwaukee where they swept their last two NCAA Tournament games in that same 2018 season.