Last night, #2 Tennessee took on #3 Purdue in a Sweet Sixteen matchup. This game was one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the round, and proved that the hype was warranted. Not only was the game entertaining, it ended the historic run of Greg Nigl (Center Road) at 49
Purdue started off hot, with Carsen Edwards scoring 15 in the first half, as well as taking a 40-28 lead into the locker room. Though Edwards had 29 points and hit the clutch free throws to send the game into OT, he played pretty poorly throughout. 8/22 from the field and an abysmal 8/14 from the line. The real story for Purdue was Senior Ryan Cline. Cline scored 27 points in just 29 minutes on an astounding 10-13 from the field and 7-10 from beyond the arc. Playing with 4 fouls for much of the second half, his performance truly saved Purdue’s season.
Tennessee however looked awful for about 25 minutes of this game. Down 40 to 28 at half, and even letting the deficit reach 18 points midway through the 2nd. It was an incredible 16-2 run which brought the Vols back into this game, but unfortunately there was just not enough to finish the game. Grant Williams was able to block Carsen Edwards’ layup attempt with 2.7 seconds left on the clock before Lamonte’ Turner was called for bumping Edwards from 3 point range.
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise great season for the Vols, and the March Madness run that they made after the embarrassing loss to Auburn in the SEC tournament was a redeeming factor. With Auburn still in the tournament, the loss looks better and better every game.