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Sweet Sixteen East Region - #3 Purdue 64, St. #15 Peter’s 67 - Cinderella Continues

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Purdue falls in Philly

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-St. Peters vs Purdue Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

They’ll be talking about this one for a while, the #15 seed St. Peter Peacocks continue their unheard of success as an NCAA Tournament Cinderella, beating the #3 Purdue Boilermakers 67-64.

For Coach Painter, this might be the worst of a strong collection of March disappointments.

After St. Peter’s knocked off Kentucky and Murray St. by dragging those Kentucky programs into rock fights, they do the same against Purdue, helped by a Purdue squad that couldn’t get out of their own way yet again.

The supreme talent and NBA stock of Jaden Ivey wasn’t enough. The experience and inside presence of Trevion Williams wasn’t enough. The sharp shooting of Sasha Stefanovic wasn’t enough. All 7’4” of Zach Edey wasn’t enough to stave off a team that wanted it more from the jump.

Purdue had 15 turnovers in a game where they tried to go inside, but the whistles never came. Despite being one of the best foul drawing teams int he country, St. Peter’s outshot them by 6 from the free throw line.

Purdue was just 5-21 from the three in this one, including a miracle step back by Jaden Ivey that was almost enough to give Purdue a chance to even things up. But with just 4 seconds left, Ivey sprinted up court, trying to pull off another miracle but his shot was just short, careening to the right, and taking with it Purdue’s best hope since 1980 to make it to the Final Four in a game that never should have been this close.

But Purdue’s vaunted offense shot just 42% from the floor St. Peter’s was able to keep them out of rhythm all game.

Trevion Williams led the team with 16 points, but there didn’t seem much leading or direction for a team that had only one real goal this year - claim March for itself.

The fact is, Purdue might not have a team with this much pure talent in a while. But those stars were dampened by a disciplined and deep Peacocks team who will be the first #15 seed to ever advance to the Elite Eight.

Purdue, well, they’re going to have a long trip back to West Lafayette where the likes of Eric Hunter Jr., Trevion Williams, Sasha Stefanovic, and Jaden Ivey will put their jerseys up for the last time.

This is the heart break of March Madness. For St. Peter’s, their Cinderella run continues.

For Purdue, and this team, the clock strikes midnight for a squad that was good enough to do better than this.