Boilermakers and Bearcats Battle in Bluegrass State in NCAA Tournament

(Courtesy Purdue Athletics) – Boilers and Bearcats Battle in Bluegrass State

The Purdue men's basketball teamis ready to face Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.- Courtesy Purdue Athletics
The Purdue men’s basketball teamis ready to face Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.- Courtesy Purdue Athletics

• Purdue (21-12) is the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region will take on the No. 8-seed Cincinnati Bearcats (22-10) of the American Athletic Conference on Thursday night at 7:10 PM (ET) at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The contest will be televised by CBS with Verne Lundquist (analyst), Jim Spanarkel (color) and Allie LaForce (sideline) on the broadcast. On the radio dial, Larry Clisby and Rob Blackman will handle the radio call on the Purdue Sports Network, while John Sadak and Bill Frieder will call the game nationally for Westwood One Radio.
• This marks just the fourth meeting between the two teams, and the first since the Wooden Tradition on Nov. 29, 2004, in Indianapolis, Gene Keady’s final year as the Purdue head coach.
• Purdue is receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 polls for the second straight week.
• Purdue is making its seventh tournament apperance under head coach Matt Painter and the first since 2012. Only Gene Keady (17 appearances in 25 years) has led Purdue to more NCAA Tournaments than Painter.
• Purdue is making its 27th appearance, tied for the 26th most in NCAA Tournament history and the fourth most in the Big Ten (Indiana – 38; Illinois – 30; Michigan State – 29; Purdue and Ohio State – 27).
• Purdue’s 35 NCAA Tournament victories rank 23rd in NCAA Tournament history.
• Purdue has shown off balanced scoring this year having nine different players score in double-figures in at least two games this year, eight different players lead the team in scoring and four different players score at least 20 points in a game twice this season.
• Purdue finished Big Ten play leading the conference in field goal percentage defense (.393). It was the ninth-lowest mark in Big Ten history.
• The current starting lineup of freshmen Vince Edwards and Dakota Mathias, juniors Rapheal Davis and A.J. Hammonsand senior Jon Octeus are 9-1 as a starting group. The lone loss came to No. 6-ranked Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
• Entering NCAA Tournament play, Purdue ranks 82nd nationally in field goal percentage (.453) and 55th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.401). It would mark the first time in the Matt Painter era that Purdue would finish in the nation’s top 100 in both categories in the same year.
• Cincinnati enters the contest ranked 23rd nationally in field goal percentage defense (.390). There are just six second-round matchups where opponents both rank in the nation’s top 60 in field goal percentage defense (Maryland-Valparaiso; North Carolina-Harvard; UNI-Wyoming; Louisville-UC Irvine; Michigan State-Georgia). Three of them involve Big Ten teams.
• In addition, Cincinnati ranks 13th nationally in blocked shots per game (5.44), while Purdue is 14th (5.33). Just two second-round matchups (NC State-LSU) have both teams ranked in the nation’s top 25 in blocked shots.
• Purdue’s 176 blocked shots are tied for the most in school history (2008-09 season).
• Purdue has held 11 opponents this year to 59 or fewer points, posting an 11-0 record when that happens. During the Matt Painter era, the Boilermakers are 104-4 when holding opponents to 59 or fewer points.
• Purdue (11) and Cincinnati (22) have combined to hold 33 of a possible 65 opponents to 59 or fewer points, or 50.8 percent of all opponents.
• Purdue is 18-0 this year when attempting more free throws than its opponent. When having the same amount as or fewer free throw attempts than its opponent, Purdue is just 3-12 (wins over Illinois, Iowa and IPFW).
• Purdue has won at least 21 games for the seventh time in Matt Painter’s tenure and for the 24th time in school history.
• With 212 wins to his credit in just his 10th year, Painter has averaged 21.2 wins per season, the highest average wins per season in school history. Legendary head coach Gene Keady, who won 512 games from 1981-2005, averaged 20.5 wins per season.
Rapheal Davis was named Purdue’s eighth Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Purdue has won more Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors than any league team (Ohio State – 5). Over the last 13 years, Purdue has won six Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.
A.J. Hammons and Oklahoma’s TaShawn Thomas are the only players in the NCAA Tournament to have scored 1,000 points, grabbed 600 rebounds and blocked 250 shots during their careers.

Leave a Reply