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Head Coach Matt Painter of Purdue Boilermakers celebrates...

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After 44 years of waiting, the Purdue Boilermakers and their fans are just days away from the Final Four and a date with N.C State. 

The journey to this moment hasn’t been easy, starting with last year’s tournament disaster. Most Purdue fans spent the entire season essentially waiting for March, for the only thing that really mattered. Once the tournament arrived, it was a whirlwind of emotions, as Purdue exorcised their demons and finally advanced out of the Elite Eight. Combine all those emotions with the general hectic nature of the tournament, and it comes as no surprise that for Purdue head coach Matt Painter, who joined The Ride With JMV on Wednesday, the long break in-between their win over Tennessee and their upcoming showdown with N.C State is much needed.  

“You just have more time to really prepare and, I wouldn’t say as much as preparing as just kind of decompress too. Very emotional win for us [over Tennessee], but very emotional win for all of them, and everybody’s just excited to be in the Final Four, but you’ve got to kind of get over that, and get ready. Get ready to compete and get ready to play again.” 

Coach Painter also spoke about if he has had time to soak the moment in, or if he’s waiting until the tournament is over. 

“You’re so excited, you’ve been able to accomplish something, but you still have games to play. So, happy for your players, for us, happy for our former players and our fans, and now you probably celebrate later in terms of real celebration, because you just kind of get your focus in on N.C State, and just start thinking about it. You wake up the next day, and you move to the next game.” 

Looking ahead to his opponent, Coach Painter dove into what he’s seen on tape from N.C State. 

“Well, they’ve won nine straight, and that’s who they are. You’ve got to look at them as an undefeated team, because in the last month, they’ve been that team. They’re hot, they have good guard play, they have guards that can score the basketball, they have guards that can put pressure on the ball, they have good size in their front line. [D.J] Burns is a very, very tough matchup for everybody in his ability to score and pass the basketball. They have a lot of guys, D.J Horne is very, very dangerous, and he can really break you down and score the basketball. They’ve got guys that can rebound, they’ve got guys that can run, they have a really good puzzle right now. All their pieces are fitting, they’re clicking on all cylinders, however you want to describe it, this is going to be a very difficult game for us. They’re one of those teams [that] right now, they could beat anybody in the country, and they’ve proven that, or they wouldn’t be in the Final Four.” 

Listen to JMV’s full conversation with Purdue head coach Matt Painter down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan! 

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