MILWAUKEE — The third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers have a short turnaround on Sunday for No. 6 Texas, which boasts the sixth-ranked scoring defense in the country, a veteran roster, and a head coach who owns Purdue in the NCAA Tournament.
Chris Beard is in his first year in charge of the Longhorns, but in his previous two coaching gigs, he’s met the Boilers twice in the Big Dance — and beaten them both times.
The most recent win came in 2018, when Beard’s then-team, Texas Tech, knocked Purdue out of the Sweet Sixteen. Before that was their meeting in 2016, when Beard’s Little Rock squad upset the Boilers in the First Round.
So, what has Purdue head coach Matt Painter learned from his previous encounters with Beard?
“He’s a fabulous coach. He’s done a great job at all of his stops. Obviously, we’ve gotten beat by them,” Painter said. “I can’t say enough good things about him. Obviously, you learn from your losses. You want your teams to be as tough as their teams; you want your teams to be able to compete like that. That’s why he keeps getting really good jobs and that’s why he keeps advancing in the Tournament.”
Beard is 10-4 in his previous NCAA Tournament appearances, and his postseason success has garnered the attention of Purdue’s locker room, including forward Trevion Williams.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s relentless with his players,” Williams said. “He wants them to go out there and he wants every game to be a war, to be a dog fight. He always has his guys grinding on the court, being physical, being tough, and it’s something we’ve got to handle.”
Matt Painter and Purdue get another shot at Beard in Second Round action Sunday at 8:40 p.m.