(CHICAGO, Ill.) – The No. 5 Purdue Boilermakers (29-5 | 15-5) secure the outright Big Ten Champions honors after beating the Penn State Nittany Lions (22-13 | 10-10) 67-65.
It’s the first time since 2019 a Big Ten Team has won both the regular season and tournament titles. The Michigan State Spartans were the last to accomplish this in the Big Ten.
This past weekend the Boilermakers showcased potential for the rest of the road ahead. In the first half the Purdue offense was put to the test by the fast-paced Nittany Lions defense.
Another dominant first half for the Boilermakers with David Jenkins Jr. raining in big shots from the perimeter and Zach Edey working the post 17-8.
The Nittany Lions would have to make this a game of runs as the team was quickly fading out early in the first half before a 9-2 run that brought them back down just two points 17-15.
The Boilermakers were finding teammates and built another solid lead to take into halftime 35-27. It wasn’t till the final run of the game that held many exciting and memorable moments for the Big Ten history books.
With 7:15 left to go in the game the Boilermakers had a stronghold on the game up by 15 points 55-41. The Nittany Lions hunger for an upset was beginning to be fed, out of the break Penn State crafted a 19-9 run over the final six minutes to bring the lead down to four 64-60.
The Boilermakers defense was setting to lock down Jalen Pickett in the paint but would leave a momentum boosting three open that was canned by Myles Dread with 15.6 seconds left 66-63.
Ultimately shook up the Boilermakers when facing the press defense Brandon Newman tossed a poor pass intended for Zach Edey that went through his hands for Cameron Wynter to put it back in 66-65.
After a trip to the free throw line to make it a two-point lead for Purdue, Wynter would have to throw a prayer up with 0.6 seconds left. The ball was swatted away from a Nittany Lion by Zach Edey and the Boilermakers became the 2023 Undisputed Big Ten Champions.
The Big Ten tournament MVP Zach Edey stamped his name on the game with a dominant 30-point performance along with a double double. Edey is second in the nation with double doubles now with 23 on the season. With another 30-point game Edey became the first Boilermaker to do that since Glenn Robinson in 1994.
The Canadian also progressed upward in the all-time scoring category at number 6 all time surpassing 1,500 career points. Edey also is the 2nd best in rebounding in school history with now 423. Edey is just 14 points, and 37 rebounds shy from joining Navy’s David Robinson, as the only players to have 750 points, 450 rebounds and 50 blocks in a season. It’s been a resume stuffing year for Edey who adds the tournament MVP honors to the other titles such as Big Ten player of the year, College Hoops Today National Player of the year and All-American.
Head Coach and candidate for the Naismith Coach of the Year, Matt Painter rocked a Chicago Cubs inspired ‘W’ under his three quarter zip. This is Painter’s second Big Ten title since 2009 as Purdue’s head coach. It’s the 412th win for Matt Painter’s impressive 67% winning efficient coaching record (412-197).
With this win it’s now number 58 in two years, the most the program has ever had with a (58-13) record.
This completes the Big Ten tournament as on the journey to the top the Boilermakers had to go through Rutgers 70-65, and Ohio State 80-66, after achieving the double bye. In the last two Big Ten tournaments the Boilermakers have an overall 5-1 record.
BIG PERFORMANCES: Zach Edey (30Pts, 13Rbs, 1As), Mason Gillis (10Pts, 6 Rbs, 3As), David Jenkins Jr. (11Pts, 1Rbs, 2As)
It’s the first time The Purdue Boilermakers are a No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament since 1996 and the first time under Head Coach Matt Painter. The March Madness continues on the biggest stage in college hoops as the No.1 seeded in the East, Purdue will play either Texas Southern or, Farleigh Dickinson, March 17th tip-off is at 6:50PM.
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