Carsen Edwards

Casey Abbett / WBAA News

If any NBA executive is thinking of drafting Purdue’s Carsen Edwards in a couple months, they need only look at what may be the final game of his college career for an indication of what they’ll get.

Casey Abbett / WBAA News

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.

Purdue University

Here's proof numbers can be deceiving:

-- It took until several minutes into the second half Saturday for Purdue's Carsen Edwards to hit a two-point basket.

-- Freshman swingman Aaron Wheeler had as many turnovers (3) as he had points.

-- Purdue had made less than a third of its three-point attempts in a shaky first round win over Old Dominion.

Sound like it might have been another long night against the defending NCAA champion Villanova Wildcats? Nothing could have been further from the truth in an 87-61 win.

Jarrett Callahan / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jabzg/1382925204

When a team's best defender rolls his ankle during warmups, the best a coach can hope for is the type of opposition shooting night Purdue lucked into in its first round NCAA Tournament win over Old Dominion Thursday, 61-48.

Nojel Eastern didn't start, but Purdue didn't seem to need him, as the Monarchs shot just 27 percent from the field and saw only three different players score in the game's first 28 minutes.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

As the Purdue men’s basketball team nears the end of its regular season every game becomes increasingly important -- in some ways, more important than most pre-season watchers could have imagined. So with the added intensity of the last home game of the season and the annual Senior Day, the intensity in Mackey Arena might have been at a season high Saturday. 

 

The Boilermakers responded by routing the visiting Ohio State Buckeyes -- the last team to beat Purdue at home -- 86-51.

 

After a decent starts for both teams it seemed as though the sellout crowed at Mackey Arena would be in for a close game as the Purdue men's basketball team took on the Illinois Fighting Illini Wednesday. Pressure from the Illinois defense caused Purdue to struggle with handling the ball and created 14 turnovers, most of which came in the first half.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

Even though the weather around West Lafayette was near blizzard conditions, the Purdue student section was full an hour prior to tipoff with their most hated rival, the 25th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, coming to Mackey Arena. The fans and the home team rose to the occasion, as Purdue secured a 70-55 victory.

Casey Abbett / WBAA

In their last home game of the calendar year, the Purdue men's basketball team hosted the Belmont Bruins, who sat at 9-1 overall and at the top of the Ohio Valley Conference.

A 14-3 run early in the first half opened up a lead for Purdue and they never looked back on their way to a 73-62 victory.

Belmont had major struggles in the first half putting the ball into the basket, shooting just 30-percent from the field. But the Bruins put together a 17-2 run late in the second half, using full court pressure which forced several turnovers and closing the deficit.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

Coming off a close loss to Notre Dame, the Purdue men's basketball team came home and played like they had something to prove against the Bobcats from Ohio. 

With the offense coming almost exclusively from Carsen Edwards vs the Irish, where he scored 40 points, an effort was made to get others involved early and often.

Thankfully for Purdue, senior guard Ryan Cline got himself out of a shooting funk that had plagued him for the past few games, in which he went only 2-19 from beyond the arc. 

Purdue

Coming off a tough loss to Michigan last week, the Purdue men's basketball team bounced back by grinding out a hard-fought win, 62-60, in their Big Ten home opener Thursday against 23rd-ranked Maryland. 

Purdue's defense did force multiple shot clock violations down the stretch, but cold shooting on both ends of the court dominated the last few minutes of the game. Maryland did not make a field goal in the last 4:20 of the game and Purdue failed to hit one for the last 5:18.