Domain Registration

Purdue is the choke artist program of the decade after another March Madness implosion

  • March 18, 2023

becoming just the second No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 in NCAA Tournament history, are missing the mark. Painter is a tremendous basketball coach, and Purdue is a reliably good program that has advanced to the Sweet 16 or beyond in six of the last 14 years. 

You don’t burn that to the ground and start over. Not at Purdue. Maybe not anywhere. 

But the trend this program has built over three straight March disasters cannot stand. It’s not acceptable. 

North Texas. Saint Peter’s. And now, Fairleigh Dickinson. 

Once is a fluke. Twice is a problem. Three times isn’t just embarrassing, it’s damning. 

Purdue losing 63-58 to Fairleigh Dickinson was like watching a cruise ship steer straight into an iceberg in perfect weather. It was like a surgeon dropping the scalpel and clipping an artery. It was like a pro golfer sending a 1-foot putt into a sand trap. 

When things got even a little bit tense, Purdue completely curled up and turned what had been routine all season into catastrophe. 

How do you win the Big Ten regular season by a significant distance, roll through the conference tournament and then come out and lose to a team ranked 275th in the efficiency ratings? A team, by the way, that only got into the NCAA Tournament because Merrimack, which beat Fairleigh Dickinson in the NEC championship game, was ineligible for the Big Dance.

You lose that game because you’re scared of it. Because you don’t have the mentality and the toughness to win it. 

When the game was in the balance, Fairleigh Dickinson never wavered. Purdue ran, hid and hoped for a collapse from its opponent that wasn’t going to come.

Frankly, it was a little bit sad to watch. But it was also what Purdue deserved by the way it played Friday. The Boilermakers were timid. They were unintelligent. They were everything their critics accused them of being after the awful NCAA Tournament exits the last two years. 

MEN’S SCHEDULE:Complete 2023 NCAA men’s tournament schedule, results and times

Heck, they couldn’t even get a field-goal attempt for 7-foot-4 star Zach Edey in the final eight minutes. How does that even happen? 

It happens because this is what Purdue does in March. Maybe the narrative would be different had Virginia not executed one of the most miraculous end-of-game plays you’ll ever see in the 2019 Elite Eight to send the game to overtime. If Kihei Clark doesn’t make a perfect pass from half court off a missed free throw to Mamadi Diakite to keep Virginia’s season alive, Purdue goes to that Final Four and maybe wins a national championship. 

But that’s not the way it happened. So where do you go after that kind of heartbreak? Is it a springboard or an anchor? 

Well, the next time Purdue got the chance to play in an NCAA Tournament, it looked slow and plodding as a No. 4 seed against North Texas in a 78-69 overtime loss in 2021. Hey, it happens to everyone sometime or another in March.

Article source:

Related News


Find best hotel offers