NCAA Tournament 2018: Purdue vs
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 20, 2018,
Mar 20, 2018, 9:38
The most recent victory by a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed came in 2016 when Middle Tennessee State defeated Michigan State, 80-61.
Haas fell hard on his right elbow.
Wes Clark scored 25 points, Jeremy Harris added 23 and No. 13 seed Buffalo pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament's opening round, rolling over No. 4 seed Arizona 89-68 in the South region Thursday night. The Big Ten conference tournament featuring Purdue and MI occurred 12 days prior to this contest, meaning that rust could be an issue for the Boilermakers.
That cannot be said this time around as Purdue will be without their star center. He averaged 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in less than 24 minutes per game. Five of their six losses this season came in separate losing streaks, including a three-game losing streak from February 7 through February 15.
The Titans have significantly less NCAA tournament experience than Purdue.
Edwards surpassed the 1,000-point plateau when he hit a three-pointer with 20 seconds left in the first half, which gave Purdue a 30-20 lead. Forward Jackson Rowe was the only other Titan in double figures (10). Haas suffered the injury while battling for a rebound midway through the second half; when you're 7-foot-2, 290 pounds, every fall is a hard fall. They've won five of six overall and do so by aggressively attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line almost 25 times per game.
The Titans (20-12) couldn't generate much offence beyond junior guards Kyle Allman (21 points) and Kyle Ahmad (nine points). It lost only one game this year by more than four points and starts four seniors who have gone to the NCAA tournament each year and reached the Sweet 16 last year.
"I thought we did a really good job all around from a defensive standpoint", Painter said. "We played through it, but they wound up hurting us with offensive rebounds, blocking shots". But going up against one of the Big Ten's top teams and a team with such overwhelming size is an entirely different animal for the Titans.
"The Boilermakers will still have some length in 7'3" redshirt freshman Matt Haarms, but there's no doubt they will miss Haas near the rim. As a team, Butler is scoring 79.1 points per game on 47.2% shooting from the field, 35.6% from behind the arc and 77.1% from the foul line this season.