A glance again on the convention season.
There’s a saying in sports activities “every win is beautiful”. You’ll see that expression come up after your staff wins a recreation that you simply’d prefer to overlook for one purpose or one other. Maybe there was a late recreation collapse, perhaps photographs weren’t falling, perhaps you bought bailed out by the officers. Whatever the explanation, a win is a win and they’re all lovely. Not each win is fairly although. And the 2022-2023 Big Ten season for Purdue males’s basketball is a main instance of this.
Walking away with an outright Big Ten title shouldn’t be one thing that’s simple. Purdue now has 25 Big Ten championships with 13 of them being outright and 12 of them being shared. So, Purdue now has not solely probably the most convention titles they’re additionally tied with IU and Ohio State for probably the most outright titles. An unbelievable accomplishment.
Purdue began the convention season with a simple victory over who would turn into the worst staff within the convention, regardless of yesterday’s upset victory over Rutgers, at residence in opposition to Minnesota. After all of the hoopla of the early season tournaments most assumed that this might be a roll, and it was. Next nevertheless got here a matchup with a Nebraska staff that has given a number of of us bother this 12 months. It took additional time to get by the Cornhuskers and transfer Purdue to 2-0 in convention play. This was presumably the primary signal that not all was because it appeared for the Boilermakers.
Purdue returned to convention play after the vacation break and confronted their nemesis Rutgers. Purdue was ranked #1 on the time for the second straight season. And for the second straight season a Rutgers staff took down the #1 ranked Boilermakers. It was a troublesome capsule to swallow. This Rutgers loss appeared to awaked one thing on this Purdue staff although as they’d rattle off 9 straight convention wins after this. That included powerful wins on the street at a (pre-collapse) Ohio State, at a jam packed Palestra in opposition to a a lot improved Penn State, a one level victory in East Lansing in opposition to the Spartans, and a 5 level victory over Hunter Dickinson and the Wolverines. That 9 recreation stretch additionally noticed residence victories over Maryland, Michigan State, and Penn State. It was this 9-0 stretch which mainly received the convention for Purdue. Some of these wins have been extremely powerful particularly the one level victory over Michigan State through which Tyson Walker hit a go forward shot with simply 12 seconds left. Purdue went to their (future) All-American Zach Edey who delivered a bucket with simply :03 to play. That’s one other victory that wasn’t fairly however the last rating positive was lovely.
After the 9-0 stretch issues bought dicey. Purdue headed on the street to Assembly Hall to face a ranked IU staff who was starting to search out themselves. As a lot as we hate to confess it TJD and JHS have been trying like All Big Ten gamers and perhaps even participant of the 12 months sort gamers throughout this stretch. Playing at Assembly is rarely a simple place to play and IU got here out and punched Purdue within the mouth. Despite a tough fought comeback within the second half Purdue by no means was in a position to take the lead and fell to the Hoosiers. Purdue’s gamers have been surrounded because the Hoosier college students rushed the court docket. This would change into a typical theme.
All was not misplaced although as Purdue returned residence to the pleasant confines of Mackey Arena and took down an Iowa staff who tried their greatest to press Purdue into oblivion. Trips to Northwestern and Maryland resulted in some, ahem, tough and tumble basketball that noticed Purdue lose again to again video games for the primary time all season. In the case of Northwestern it positive appeared like Purdue was simply out-toughed. Yes, I do know we will discuss concerning the officers right here however finally the sport was referred to as the way it was referred to as and Northwestern took benefit. The similar at Maryland. Another recreation that featured some quite bodily basketball. Purdue misplaced each video games and our Boilermakers stood and watched because the followers stormed the court docket for the second and third occasions this season. Things have been beginning to look bleak. Some individuals wavered on if this staff might cling on, however not me.
A get proper recreation in opposition to an Ohio State staff that had gone fully off the rails was subsequent and Purdue took full benefit. A house recreation in opposition to IU was subsequent and it gave Purdue a chance that appeared too good to be true. Purdue wanted only one victory to clinch a share of the Big Ten title and their rival was coming into their enviornment after already having defeated them as soon as this 12 months. This recreation had every little thing, revenge, title implications, and good quaint sports activities hatred. Unfortunately for Purdue followers, it was extra of the identical in opposition to the Hoosiers this season. Despite shutting down TJD Purdue wasn’t in a position to overcome the talent of super-freshman JHS who schooled Purdue on the offensive finish. The likelihood to clinch was gone.
However, due to Maryland taking down Northwestern the very subsequent day Purdue was nonetheless assured no worse than a share of the title with two video games to play. Purdue would have an opportunity to clinch an outright title of their subsequent recreation in opposition to Wisconsin. There was an out of doors likelihood that Purdue might clinch earlier than that nevertheless it must be a Mr. Burns baseball ringers stage of misfortunes to Purdue’s fellow Big Ten groups and I’d prefer to see that. Somehow although, that’s precisely what occurred. IU misplaced to Iowa. Maryland misplaced to Ohio State. Northwestern misplaced to Penn State. Michigan misplaced to Illinois. Short of the Michigan vs. Illinois recreation going into double additional time the remainder of these video games occurred earlier than Purdue had performed a recreation. That means Purdue misplaced to IU on February twenty fifth and had not clinched something, did nothing, after which went to Wisconsin Big Ten Champs and halfway by means of the primary half turned outright Big Ten Champs. Incredible streak of fortunate outcomes there for the Boilermakers.
There’s nonetheless one convention recreation left within the season however at worst Purdue will stroll away with a two recreation lead over the second place staff, whoever that winds up being. In a season when Purdue was picked to complete in the midst of the pack it’s unbelievable what this staff has achieved. Last evening’s win in opposition to Wisconsin wasn’t fairly. Purdue’s three level taking pictures share, someplace round 236 within the nation proper now, isn’t fairly. But you already know what’s each fairly and delightful? This: