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NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Midwest Regional

Source: Jamie Sabau / Getty

[Detroit, MI]- One year ago, the mood in West Lafayette was different.

Purdue was watching from home as UConn, Miami, FAU, and San Diego State punched their tickets to the NCAA Semi-Finals. This year, the mood is different.

After a 72-66 win over Tennessee in the Elite Eight, Purdue advanced to their first Final Four since 1980. After the game cheerful tears and excitement came over the Boiler faithful as they watched their team cut down the net.

On the call for the Purdue Radio Network was Rob Blackmon. Blackmon joined the Wake Up Call with KB and Andy Monday morning.

“The clock winds down, we have secured the win,” Blackmon shared, “I look to my left. Our audio engineer Wes Scott, who has been with Purdue Radio for twenty years, he’s crying. I look to my right and Bobby Riddell’s crying. I’m starting to tear up and the first thing I could think of was good lord somebody’s got to hold it together here. Then wouldn’t you know it, I look down further to my right where Robbie Hummel was seated, five or six seats down. I thought good lord this might be a tough one to navigate here.”

In the game, Zach Edey went off for a single game high forty points.

Three-point line struggles did not plague Purdue on their way to victory. Blackmon discussed this as one of his biggest takeaways from the game.

“My gut tells me that the best three-point shooting team in the country was three of thirteen from three and still won the game,” Blackmon said.

In the 1980 Semi-Finals, Purdue met UCLA at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. That game ended with the Bruins advancing to the Finals on a 67-62 win.

Purdue has not made the National Title game since 1969, when they lost to UCLA.

Standing in the way of Purdue is the last remaining double digit seed North Carolina State. The Wolfpack are riding a nine-game winning streak dating back to mid-March.

One of the big matchups will be Zach Edey vs NC State’s DJ Burns Jr. In the Wolfpacks win over Duke, Burns Jr. went for twenty-nine points and four rebounds. Prior to the tournament, Burns had averaged thirteen points.

Purdue has the first game on Saturday with NC State in Pheonix. Tip-off is at 6:09 PM Eastern. The winner advances to face either Alabama or UConn in the National Championship game on April 8th.

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