Purdue is going back to the Sweet Sixteen.
For the first time since 2010, the Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, this time doing it by scoring an 80-76 win over fifth-seeded Iowa State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
What was a blowout turned into a nail-biting finish, the Cyclones using a monster run in the second half to erase what was at one point a 19-point lead for the Boilers.
Iowa State went on a 25-8 surge to turn a 15-point deficit into a two-point lead, getting a pair of free throws with a little more than three minutes left to take its first lead of the night.
But Purdue pulled off a perfect counter punch, scoring the next seven on a P.J. Thompson 3-pointer and buckets from Caleb Swanigan and Vincent Edwards to make it a five-point game, beneifting from back-to-back Iowa State turnovers.
The Cyclones made it a two-point game in the final minute with another small rally, and there seemed to be more life when Dakota Mathias missed the front end of a 1-and-1 set of free throws. But Swanigan cleaned up the offensive rebound, allowing an ensuing pair of free throws from Thompson to make it a four-point game and ice things.
Swanigan had a monster night, as has been a pretty common occurence throughout his player of the year caliber season. Saturday he totaled 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Edwards was stellar, too, for Purdue, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The Boilers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 10th time in program history and the third time under Matt Painter.
The Big Ten announced on Thursday that they will not play any non-conference games this fall, if they’re able to play at all.
The move comes after the Ivy League cancelled all fall sports earlier in the week.
In the statement the Big Ten said, “By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.
“In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team.”
The Big Ten also said they’re prepared to cancel their fall sports entirely, if needed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes.
This all leads to more questions as to how the Big Ten schedule will ultimately take shape. For instance, the first three games on the University of Illinois’s schedule are all non-conference games. Will more in-conference games be scheduled to replace them, or will the Fighting Illini simply begin their season on Oct. 3 with their first conference game against Rutgers?
All of that remains to be seen, as the conference said more details regarding the conference-only schedule will be released later.
RELATED: Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field
Northwestern football will no longer host their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field. The university announced the decision on Wednesday.
The Wildcats were supposed to play the Badgers at the Friendly Confines on Nov. 7. Although the university didn’t officially announce it, team's website says the game will be played at Ryan Field.
“This is a disappointing conclusion to reach, but absolutely the right one in our current environment,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. “The uncertainty of football and baseball schedules, and the possibility of limited attendance, made this an easy choice to make for our student-athletes and fans.
“We’re grateful for our outstanding partners from the Cubs, and look forward to bringing the passion and pageantry of college football gameday to the city’s north side when we can do so safely and securely with a packed house.”
Northwestern initially brought college football back to Wrigley in 2010. Previously the last college football game at Wrigley was played in 1938. Since then, Northwestern has hosted both lacrosse and baseball games at Clark and Addison.
The university is still on track to kick off their season on Sept. 5 at Michigan State.
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