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Purdue Boilermakers get ready for NCAA tournament

Purdue's JaJuan Johnson (25) dunks the ball against Penn State during the second half.
Purdue's JaJuan Johnson (25) dunks the ball against Penn State during the second half.
Carolyn Kaster

The Purdue Boilermakers have had their fair share of ups and downs during the 2009-2010 season.

The Boilers started the season with 14 straight wins and were ranked #4 in the nation, but after three straight losses a lot of the college basketball experts were counting the Boilers out.

The Boilers never lost their confidence and bounced back in not only the Big Ten Conference but also in the polls. The Boilers climbed up to #3 in the rankings, but in a win at Minnesota the Boilers lost one of their leaders, Robbie Hummel, to a season ending ACL tear.

The Boilers were on track to be the undisputed Big Ten Champions, but dropped the next game at home to Michigan State Spartans. After that loss the Boilers won out the regular season and finished in a three way tie for first place in the Big Ten with a record of 26-4.

This record was good enough to get the Boilers a #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and after avenging a regular season loss to the Northwestern Wildcats the Boilers were rolled in the semi finals but The Golden Gophers. This loss dropped the Boilers season record to 27-5.

With a 27-5 record a Big Ten regular season title, a top 10 ranking in most polls, and a 16 RPI the Boilers who before Robbie Hummel’s injury were a potential #1 seed were granted a #4 seed in the tournament and a first round match-up with Siena (a team who has won its first round game the last 2 NCAA tournaments).

The selection committee may have looked at the lack of Robbie Hummel as a deciding factor in the seeding of the Boilers. Despite a 10-4 record against the RPI top 100 and one of the nation’s best overall records, the Boilers find themselves being underdogs in a lot of college basketball experts’ brackets.

Although a lot of people close to Purdue feel Purdue should have been seeded a lot higher, they team is using this as motivation. Obviously the team feels they should have been seeded higher, but they can’t change that now and all they can do it go out and play basketball.

The Boilers are using this as an opportunity to show the nation they are still a force and a contender to make it to a final four.

Tip-Off for their first round game against Siena will be Friday, March 19, 2010 at 2:30pm.


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