I know, I know, a lot of people had Purdue as an 8 or 9 seed...but as CBS announced the final region, and Purdue had not gotten its marching orders just yet, the idea of having to play UNC in North Carolina in the second round might have been the very-worst scenario for this Purdue team.
So, here's what we know:
-Purdue will be playing St. Mary's in Omaha on Friday.
-This will be the second time Purdue has played a Gaels team this season (Iona was the first)
-St. Mary's won the WCC, but the RPI has them as the second-best team in the conference...Gonzaga was slightly better. The Gael players had Champion belts printed on the t-shirts they were wearing when they received their seeding on national TV.
-The WCC is the 11th-best conference in the land
-Of St. Mary's five losses, only one was versus a bad team- Denver. The rest of their losses came versus teams in the top-25 of the RPI
-St. Mary's has a handful of Australians on their squad and a Lithuanian. Their leading scorer is an Aussi- Dellavedova bombs threes (making 36% of them on the year) and averaged nearly 16 pts/gm and a whopping 6.3 ast/gm
-Their second-leading scorer is Rob Jones who averages nearly 15/gm. He'll probably have Hummel and Byrd on him for most of the game on Friday
What's to like:
-Purdue has matched up with teams without a dominant big man pretty well all season.
-Our Boilers will be the underdog...versus a media darling mid-major. Hopefully smart guys in the national media talk down Purdue all week- that's helped Matty motivate his squads in the past few years.
-Purdue has been very successful in early rounds of the tournament under Painter
-Not playing in Albuquerque or Portland
-SMC's champ belts make me think that they're cocky. Good.
-Not having to play UNC, Syracuse or Kentucky in round 2
|Aussi Aussi Aussi|
-Playing a team that scores a lot of points and shoots the ball very well
-Having to hear about your Boilers as an underdog for the next four days...or worse, no one even talking about them- get ready for the latter.
-Playing in Omaha...with a potential second round game versus Kansas in their backyard
-It's an 8-9 hour drive for most Purdue fans to Omaha
-Teams like UConn, who played like dog crap for much of the year (like Purdue) were rewarded with higher seeds than Purdue
-LewJack tweaking his wrist and rumors of Hummel having a sore knee late in the game v. aOSU
Tip-off times will be released later tonight.