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Boilermakers Defeat Tennessee In OT, Advance To Elite Eight

Casey Abbett

You can't have college basketball in March without a little madness.

Playing for the chance to advance past the Sweet 16 for the first time in nearly 20 years Thursday, the Purdue men's basketball team defeated Tennessee 99-94 in an overtime thriller.

A 13-2 run in the first half helped lead to a 12-point cushion at the half, which Coach Matt Painter's team extended to 18 early in the second half. But then Tennessee came alive and tore down the stretch, regaining the lead in the final minutes on the strength of their own 21-5 run.

But the last few seconds of the second half may have been the wildest. Purdue guard Carsen Edwards, who scored 29 points, hit two free throws with only a couple ticks left on the clock to tie the game at 82. Tennessee inbounded the ball and called a timeout as soon as the ball crossed half court, but just a tenth of a second remained on the clock -- not enough to get off a jump shot, by rule.

Senior guard Ryan Cline, who sat out most of the second half with four fouls, was the Boilermaker who stepped up and stopped the Tennessee run. Cline scored 27 points (a new career high) and had four assists, all while hitting seven three-pointers, three of which came in the final four minutes of regulation.

Tennessee star Admiral Schofield led his second-seeded Volunteers with 21 points and nine rebounds -- 20 of those points in the second half.

The Boilermakers did fare better than the other Big Ten team playing Thursday, as Michigan was routed by Texas Tech 63-44. Purdue next plays the winner of Thursday's other matchup in Louisville, 12-seed cinderella Oregon or top-seeded Virginia.

Casey Abbett is a senior at Purdue from LaCrosse, Indiana, and has been been interning as a sports reporter for WBAA since his freshman year.