Purdue advances to first Elite 8 under Matt Painter in thrilling OT fashion
It took 45 minutes of nail-biting back and forth action, but the Purdue Boilermakers defeated second seeded Tennessee 99-94 in the South Regional Semifinal.
The Boilers dominated the Volunteers in the opening 20 minutes, jumping out to a 40-28 first half lead. That lead was extended to 18, when the Boilers led the Vols 51-33 with 16:18 left in the second half following a Ryan Cline jumper.
The Volunteers were able to stay composed, as veteran teams tend to do and went on 32-13 run to tie the game at 65-65 with 6:57 left following a Lamonte Turner 3-pointer.
The aforementioned Cline, has hit clutch shots his whole career, but nothing compares to his performance Thursday night. Cline finished with 24 points on 10 of 13 shooting, making 7 of his 10 3-point attempts. The Boilers also got another stellar performance from Carsen Edwards, as he followed up his career high 42 points vs. Villanova with 29 on Thursday night, while playing all 45 minutes.
With the win, Matt Painter and the Boilers advance to their first elite eight since 2000. After making the Sweet 16 for a third consecutive season, the Boilers are finally able to breakthrough and get to the Elite 8. This win was for all of Boiler Nation, for Robbie Hummel and Isaac Haas, and all the others that sport the gold and black.
The Boilermakers are one win away from Minneapolis, and are playing with house money. Saturday will be another legendary one in Louisville.