Rushed Reactions: #8 Cincinnati 66, #9 Purdue 65 (OT)

Posted by Walker Carey on March 19th, 2015

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Three Key Takeaways.

The Thrill and Agony of March Madness (USA Today Images)

The Thrill and Agony of March Madness (USA Today Images)

  1. Purdue gagged this game away at the end of regulation. It looked like the Boilermakers were on their way to the Round of 32. They led by a score of 56-49 with 48 seconds to play. What happened next can only be considered a choke job of epic proportions. Cincinnati went on a 10-3 run to end the regulation. During that time, the Boilermakers committed a crucial turnover and missed two key free throws. Cincinnati deserves considerable credit for playing hard until the very end, but Purdue absolutely handed the Bearcats the opportunity to send the game to overtime. After Cincinnati emerged from the overtime period with the victory, it was quite noticeable that the Bearcats seemed a bit surprised that they were able to pull this one out.
  2. Coreontae DeBerry was a revelation for Cincinnati. Bearcats leading scorer Octavius Ellis was ejected for a flagrant-two after throwing a vicious elbow to the neck of Purdue’s A.J. Hammons at the 16:22 mark of the second half. Replacing him in the Cincinnati line-up was DeBerry, and he was fantastic throughout the game. The big-bodied junior entered the game averaging just 3.8 points in 9.9 minutes per game. He surpassed both those figures with ease against the Boilermakers, as he finished with season-highs of 13 points in 26 minutes.
  3. Larry Davis deserves more credit for the job he has done this season filling in for Mick Cronin. When Mick Cronin stepped away for health reasons in late December, it was not known if Cincinnati could even reach the NCAA Tournament. Davis, Cronin’s associate head coach, was an unknown commodity and you always question how college kids are going to respond to such a sudden change. As it turns out, Davis has admirably filled in for Cronin. The Bearcats have sustained the same hard-nosed reputation they were known for under Cronin. They play hard every night and do not give up under adversity. That was on display against Purdue, and it was a major reason why the Bearcats lived to fight another day even if it’s likely just for one more day.

Player of the Game. Troy Caupain, Cincinnati. You have to give player of the game to the player who sent the game to overtime, correct? Yeah, that is what I thought. Caupain was able to shake off an easy missed lay-in with 1:01 remaining in regulation to drive the lane and lay one in to beat the buzzer at the end of regulation. The Bearcats’ floor general played a team-high 38 minutes and finished with 10 points, four assists, and three rebounds.

Quotable.

  • “We had all the opportunities in the world and that is why this hurts as bad as it does.” – Purdue coach Matt Painter, acknowledging the fact that his team let one slip away.
  • “The momentum, we had it the whole game. We just could not finish it off.” – Purdue big man A.J. Hammons, trying to make sense of what had just happened.
  • “We did an unbelievable job by not giving in, not quitting, and doing what the Bearcats stand for.” – Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis, noting his team’s incredible effort in the comeback.
  • “It was wonderful.” – Cincinnati point guard Troy Caupain, when asked to describe his lay-up that sent the game to overtime.

Sights and Sounds. The Cincinnati contingent outnumbered the Purdue group, but both were pretty active throughout the action. When the final buzzer sounded in overtime, the Cincinnati fans seemed more surprised than anything else. But after Larry Davis finished his postgame interview with CBS, the group exploded with glee in acknowledging the tremendous fight the Bearcats showed all night.

What’s Next. Cincinnati advances to the Round of 32 on Saturday where it will face top-seeded Kentucky and a house full of blue.

WCarey (299 Posts)


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