March Insanity 2023: Purdue left trying to find solutions after one other devastating exit from NCAA Match


No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson’s takedown of No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday was the greatest upset in NCAA Match historical past. The Knights downed the Boilermakers as 23-point underdogs to develop into simply the second No. 16 seed to ever defeat a No. 1 seed. And but as stunning as it might be, for Boilermakers followers it is one other all-too-familiar postseason letdown underneath coach Matt Painter.

With 4 regular-season Huge Ten titles since 2010, Purdue has been probably the greatest groups within the Huge Ten from November to February. Nevertheless, regular-season success and favorable seeds within the Huge Dance haven’t translated to a Remaining 4, a lot much less a title look or a nationwide title. Somewhat, they’ve led to stunning early exits. Purdue has made a nasty behavior of falling flat on its face as a substitute of advancing deep within the bracket. The loss to FDU marked the Boilers’ third straight loss by the hands of a double-digit seed; beforehand, they fell to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s within the Candy 16 and have been bounced by No. 13 seed North Texas within the first around the yr earlier than that. 

To query Painter’s credentials as a tactician can be to query the writing type of Charles Dickens or the entrepreneurship of Thomas Edison — significantly, good luck! — however the NCAA Match disappointments underneath Painter have stacked up lately culminating with arguably the worst lack of his profession.

How does it hold taking place? Is it a Painter drawback? A Purdue drawback? Did the Boilermakers in one other life curse the basketball gods? Painter did his darndest to sum it up succinctly in his post-game press convention. 

“Nicely, at this time, the shape inside our system by way of recruiting is to have the steadiness of nice bigs with ability [around them],” he mentioned. “This wasn’t one thing for us that was simply at this time. It is irritating. It sort of simply mounted for us and received worse at instances. I feel we shot one out-of-rhythm 3, possibly one other one. However the recreation plan just isn’t for individuals to remain in there on them and contest, it is to remain in on [Zach Edey] after which not even contest.”

The outcome from Friday: Edey — the Participant of the Yr frontrunner — received his. He completed with 21 factors, 15 boards and hit practically 70% of his photographs. Non-Edey threats round him: 12 of 42 taking pictures (28.6%) from the ground, 5 of 26 taking pictures from 3-point vary and 16 turnovers towards the pressure-heavy protection of FDU. 

“Our type is tough to play towards,” FDU coach Tobin Anderson mentioned. “I am positive Huge Ten groups do not press as a lot. Our quickness, our velocity, our type, our uptempo sort of damage [Purdue] a bit bit. Our guys defended their tails off and performed nice. We’re completely satisfied to outlive and advance and transfer on.” 

You may simply as simply chalk up Purdue’s unlucky postseason failures to only that — misfortune — as you possibly can to poor teaching or scheming. Half of its NCAA Match losses since 2019 have are available in additional time, and final yr’s loss to Saint Peter’s got here by three factors. The Boilers misplaced by 5 on Friday. However the development of taking a nostril dive on the level when expectations are excessive is unattainable to disregard. Here is how the Boilermakers have fared lately within the NCAA Match courting again to 2019 when it made the Elite Eight as a No. 3 seed and misplaced to eventual champion Virginia: 

  • 2023: No. 1 seed in East Area, Spherical 1 loss to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson
  • 2022: No. 3 seed in East Area, Candy 16 loss to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s
  • 2021: No. 4 seed in South Area, Spherical 1 loss to No. 13 seed North Texas in additional time
  • 2019: No. 3 seed in South Area, Elite Eight loss to No. 1 seed Virginia in additional time

Notable postseason outcomes

Postseason failures really feel exponentially extra painful for Purdue followers now provided that its loss to FDU continues a development of beautiful early exits. However Purdue underneath Painter has notably been largely profitable each within the common season and postseason. Since he took over in 2005, the Boilermakers have received 4 Huge Ten regular-season championships, superior to 6 Candy 16s, made 14 NCAA Match appearances and made eight consecutive Huge Dance appearances courting again to 2015.

“You have to compete and be higher than your opponent,” mentioned Painter on Friday. “We’re not going to offer into it. I do know that. Except they transfer me, we’re not going to offer into it.”

Purdue’s guards fall quick

As a result of it does not carry the model energy to recruit like an Indiana or a Michigan State, Purdue’s path to success underneath Painter has been to schematically win with a system revolving round massive males whereas counting on guards. However even when the bigs are at their finest, the system is just nearly as good because the guards round them. And that was sadly confirmed true Friday. FDU dared Purdue’s guards and wings to beat it, they usually could not. 

“Who actually desires to step up and knock that shot down? You need to have three or 4 guys that need that,” mentioned Painter. “I assumed the Saint Peter’s recreation [last year], these guys made it actually laborious for Zach as soon as he caught it. He had these turnovers in that recreation. On this recreation, it wasn’t the case. He might rating. We have been simply extensive open they usually weren’t going to allow us to get it in there, and why ought to they? [They are trying to] make these different guys [beat them].”



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