MILWAUKEE (WISH) — The No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers spent their 4-hour bus trip to Milwaukee thinking about the chip on their shoulder.
The Boilers thought their 27-7 record was enough to earn them a better draw, wishing they were staying in Indianapolis to play their first round.
“I think it would’ve been too good to be true to play in Indy, for what? A third tournament in a row,” said Eric Hunter Jr.
So, on Thursday they turned the page, and got their feet wet on the floor at Fiserv Forum. Purdue was relaxed at their open practice ahead of their first round matchup with 14-seeded Yale.
The Boilers are embracing their past experiences as they hope to stay far away from another early exit this March.
“It was heartbreaking to go through. It was a hard pill to swallow, man,” said senior Trevion Williams as he reflected on last year’s first-round upset that Purdue suffered at the hands of No. 13 seed North Texas.
Williams said Head Coach Matt Painter had the team watch the film of their opening-round NCAA Tournament loss back when summer workouts began. It’s been a constant this entire season.
“It was like here’s where we are, and here’s what we need to do to get better from it. I’ve obviously watched my own film. I couldn’t stop thinking about it after the loss. I think I watched it every other week after,” Williams said.
Painter said, “If you don’t learn from your losses, then you’re a fool. And that’s all I was trying to do is, like, Hey, let’s learn from our loss with North Texas. Use it as a springboard for next year and put ourselves in a great position, which I think we have.”
Purdue is favored by 16.5 points in their Friday game with Yale. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. EDT Friday.