College Basketball

Everything you need to know about Purdue’s opening NCAA tourney game

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Purdue fans have nothing to complain about on Selection Sunday. 

On Friday evening the No. 4 seed Boilers meet No. 5 North Texas at Lucas Oil Stadium for a 7:25 p.m. tip-off on TNT. 

Let’s take a look at where Matt Painter’s squad stands at the moment.

The lone team from the Hoosier State with a ticket inside the field of 68? Check.

A North Texas team that rightfully earned its way to Indianapolis, but won’t dare scare the likes of Trevion Williams and Jaden Ivey? Check.

A potential second round matchup against banged up Villanova or Big South underdog Winthrop? Check.

Surely the Boilers are inbound from West Lafayette, Ind. to Indianapolis first thing Monday morning with big smiles aboard the team bus. 

As is the case with every team in Indianapolis, Purdue undergoes two rounds of COVID-19 before it can break temporary quarantine and begin to practice ahead of Round 1 with North Texas. 

What do the Boilers know about their opposition on Friday night?

“I don’t know anything about North Texas,” Painter said. “I know their coach. I’m friends with their coach (Grant McCasland). He’ll have those guys ready, they won’t beat themselves and they’ll play hard, and they’ll defend.”

“We’ve been there (NCAA Tournament) before,” Junior Center Trevion Williams said. “We know what to expect and we know how hard it is to kind of get past those games to get to where we want to go.”

The most memorable line Sunday from the Boilers camp came from electrifying freshman wing Jayden Ivey. 

After a rousing 19-point performance this past Friday against Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, Ivey is clearly unafraid of the March spotlight.

“Just me being able to play in it, it is going to be fun and exciting,” Ivey said. “I know I am going to have the butterflies in my stomach a little bit, but once I get on that court. I am going to be ready. I packed my whole suitcase, I packed everything. I plan to stay until April.”  

Another remarkable note: Purdue, Kansas and Virginia are the only three D1 teams over the past five seasons to claim a No. 5 seed or better in every NCAA Tournament.  

Matt Painter is a model of consistency and the Boilers are certainly eyeing a fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. 

MORE STORIES