Rushed Reactions: #4 Purdue 80, #5 Iowa State 76

Posted by Brendan Brody on March 19th, 2017

Purdue advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2012 by beating Iowa State in one of the best games of the NCAA Tournament so far.

Biggie Swanigan Dominated the Inside For Purdue (USA Today Images)

Three Key Takeaways. 

  1. Purdue was large and in charge, and this carried the day. It was fairly well-known by anybody who watches the sport that Purdue was going to have an advantage in the post this evening, and it did so by scoring 40 points against the undersized Cyclones in the paint. Caleb Swanigan, Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas were the team’s top three players in scoring, combining for 55 of the team’s 80 points on 56.1 percent shooting for the game.
  2. Tournament Vincent is the best Vincent. Edwards has yet to have a poor effort in thefour NCAA Tournament appearances over his career — the junior forward now boasts averages of 20.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 3.8 APG on 54.2 percent shooting from the floor. He led the Boilermakers in scoring again tonight, doing most of his damage at the rim. Were it not for Swanigan’s heroics at the end of the game, Edwards would have easily been deserving as the best player on the floor.
  3. This was a brutal way for the career of Iowa State’s seniors to end. Even as a neutral party on press row, watching the careers of four seniors end with such a tough loss was difficult to watch. The foursome of Monte’ Morris, Matt Thomas, Nazareth Mitrou-Long and Deonte Burton will go down as one of the best senior classes in Iowa State history, and they deserve to be commended for the way they fought back to put the heat on Purdue in the second half.

Star of the Game. Edwards was extremely good in this game, but it’s hard not to give Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan the nod here. It wasn’t his best or most efficient offensive game, but he still scored 20 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and offered a team-leading seven assists. He’s been a solid passer all season long for the Boilermakers, but he really did a nice job feeding Edwards and Haas from either the high post or down on the blocks.

Quotable.

  • “That’s the toughest part, knowing you have to say goodbye. ” – Iowa State coach Steve Prohm, in reference to the end of the careers of his four senior starters.
  • “It’s March, and it’s Madness, but we just have to be able to withstand it. – Purdue forward Vincent Edwards, when asked about the mentality of the team when Iowa State cut into its lead.
  • “He’s not 100.” – Purdue Coach Matt Painter when asked why Dakota Mathias missed a free throw at the end of the game.

Sights and Sounds. One of the unintentionally funniest moments from the raucous Iowa State crowd sitting behind the press table occurred when the Cyclones were still down double-digits in the beginning of the second half. One particularly dismayed fan exclaimed at one point, “why are we missing everything?” after another three-pointer went careening off the rim.

What’s Next. Purdue will now travel to Kansas City to play #1 Kansas or Big Ten foe #9 Michigan State for the third time this season.

Brendan Brody (306 Posts)

Brendan Brody is in his fourth season covering the Big Ten for RTC. Email him at brendan.brody@gmail.com, or follow him on twitter @berndon4.


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