The Matt Painter Purdue Boilermakers are steaming on to the Sweet 16! by Chris Filios
When Purdue needed him the most, when they were on the eve of a heartbreaker of a loss, Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan lived up to his nickname — several times over.
Caleb Swanigan had 20 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists, and the Boilermakers got the wild 80-76 victory over Iowa State. For Swanigan, Big Ten Player of the Year, it was the 28th double-double of the season.
The Iowa State Cyclones wiped out a 19-point deficit in the second half, taking their first lead of the game on Burton’s two free throws with 3:11 left. But P.J. Thompson responded with a huge 3-pointer for the Purdue Boilermakers, and Caleb Swanigan made several huge plays in the final minutes of the game.
Matt Painter and the Boilermakers are experiencing a program resurgence as they finished the regular season with 25 wins won the Big Ten Regular Season Championship.
Purdue heads home awaiting the winner of Sunday’s Michigan State-Kansas game.
What is next for the Purdue Boilermakers?
The Purdue Boilermakers will have a great chance versus the Kansas Jayhawks, because of Caleb Swanigan. When you get to this point, it’s basically about match-ups.
The Purdue Boilermakers are in their first Sweet Sixteen since 2010 and have a chance for their first Elite Eight since 2000. Kansas will be hard to simulate in practice. You have to guard their athleticism and quickness. They break you down off the dribble and make players. Purdue’s team defense is going to be Huge. They will have to take good shots and take care of the basketball. Kansas loves to get going in transition, that’s where they get you in trouble.
Coach Painter will want to keep it simple. If his players are one on one, then they try to score. If they are double teamed, then move the basketball and share it with each other. They just want to be hard to guard.
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