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Wisconsin v Purdue

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All season long, the Purdue Boilermakers had to listen to people bring up Fairleigh Dickinson, Saint Peter’s, and North Texas. Many people have stated that what they do in the regular season and Big Ten Tournament does not matter. What matters now is NCAA Tournament success.

“I feel Purdue is the most capable of getting to a Final Four and I actually have them getting to the National Championship game against UConn.” Big Ten Network and FOX Sports college basketball analyst LaPhonso Ellis stated on Query & Company Monday afternoon.

That’s what Ellis had to say about which Big Ten team could make it the furthest in the NCAA Tournament.

Matt Painter‘s team has responded each time it has lost this season.

  • 92-88 loss to Northwestern and followed the loss up with a seven game winning streak
  • 88-72 loss to Nebraska and followed the loss up with a nine game winning streak
  • 73-69 loss to Ohio State and followed the loss up with a six game winning streak
  • 76-75 loss to Wisconsin and followed the loss up with a _____ game winning streak

The Boilermakers just have to match the winning streak after the Ohio State loss to hang its first ever NCAA Tournament Champions banner.

Now why is the former Notre Dame star so confident in Purdue to make it to the championship game?

“If we go back three years with Jaden Ivy’s group, that group was an elite offensive group, but Matt Painter couldn’t get those guys to guard and that’s what ended up being their downfall when they got into the NCAA Tournament. Last year, that team was much improved defensively and willing to sit down in a stance and guard people. When someone would get beat, the rotations were solid, they would sink down and take guys off the glass, but they couldn’t shoot. This group now possesses both, they can guard you on one end and they have multiple guys who can knock down three-point shots. Braden Smith has improved and now you add an additional guy who can defend out on the perimeter in Lance Jones. Now that solves that issue is if they run up against a team who has superior speed on the perimeter that’s really been the thorn in the side for Purdue.”

Realistically, this is the best chance that Matt Painter has had to win the championship. His team has been dominant for the majority of the season, Zach Edey is one of, if not the best, player in college basketball, and he has superb guards.

The key for the Boilermakers will be receiving consistent production from Fletcher Loyer, Mason Gillis, and Trey Kaufman-Renn like they have all season.

Purdue’s journey for a national championship starts on Friday night against the winner of Grambling vs Montana State at 7:25pm.

To listen to Jake Query and Jimmy Cook’s conversation with LaPhonso Ellis, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.

The post What Makes This Purdue Team Different From Past Teams? appeared first on 93.5 / 107.5 The Fan.

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