When the bracket was revealed, I was excited for Purdue to play Villanova and get revenge for our 2016 game against them in Mackey (along with the time we played them in 2012 in Madison Square Garden). Purdue did not disappoint tonight. They had a small 4-ish minute span in the 2nd half where Villanova went on a 10-0 run, but when you’re up 30+ points, you can afford to take a punch like that.
Honestly, I can’t remember the last time Purdue dominated in the 2nd round of the tournament. It is definitely the first time that has happened during Painter’s tenure. Even sweeter when it comes against the defending national champions. Purdue will face the winner of Tennessee/Iowa in Louisville on Thursday.
And now, onto some Fast Break Points.
- Today, we had Good Carsen, Great Carsen. Carsen Edwards was hot the whole night, and gave us an All-American performance. Edwards finished with a career-high 42 points, going 12-21 from the floor, and 9-16 from beyond the arc. He also was perfect from the charity stripe, getting 9 of his 42 points from the free throw line. Villanova had no answer for him the whole night. During the early 2nd half run, Carsen missed a 3 (after making a few others). Had he made that one, he would have violated the 8th amendment.
- Ryan Cline had a good game as well after struggling on Thursday, going 4-8 from beyond the arc, and contributed 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Now him and Grady Eifert have the most wins in Purdue history, surpassing E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson.
- Matt Haarms was a baaaaad baaad man tonight. He finished with 18 points, with 125% of those coming from wide open dunks. He was a beast on both ends of the floor, and like Edwards, Villanova had no response to him.
- Purdue held Villanova to less than 35% from the floor tonight, and that number was even lower before Nova’s 2nd half push. They did not score for the first 5 or so minutes of the 2nd half, and were essentially out of it by the time the under-12 timeout came. While they had some open looks that did not go in, Purdue’s defense was strong throughout most of the evening.
Purdue now goes into the Sweet 16 surging ahead with a lot of momentum. In previous years, they’ve had to face a red-hot 1 seed in the Sweet 16, but now they have a chance to overcome that hump. Don’t get me wrong, Iowa is not an easy match-up, and Tennessee was just shy of being a #1 seed this year, so they will be a difficult match-up.
But in the tournament, there is only one rule: survive and win. Either by 30 points or 1. Just keep dancing.