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PURDUE MENS BASKETBALL:
Purdue 52, (1) Ohio State 63
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists
BOX SCORE: Purdue 52, (1) Ohio State 63
I finally got to watch the tape of the game (I had a family function to attend this afternoon) and it was very disappointing to watch Purdue miss a chance to pull a huge upset. When Purdue hung tough for the first 10 or 12 minutes of the second half, I thought they were in excellent shape. Carl Landry was playing extremely well on the offensive end of the floor and Greg Oden was in a bit of foul trouble with three personal fouls. I was thinking that if someone could just step up and hit a couple of three-pointers, Purdue had an excellent chance to win the game. As it turned out, it wasn't to be, but the shots were there for David Teague, he just couldn't get them to fall. Still, I thought Purdue did the things they had to do to win (they didn't have a lot of turnovers, they didn't let Ohio State get a lot of transition baskets and they did a pretty good job at the defensive end except for keeping Ohio State off the offensive boards), but Ohio State (and in particular Greg Oden) was just too good and Purdue just couldn't make the big shots when they needed them the most.
I'm too disheartened to critique each players performance after this game, but in general I thought Purdue needs more from Keaton Grant, Tarrance Crump and Chris Lutz if they are going to beat a high calibre team like Ohio State. I think all of those guys tried hard, but it just wasn't a particularly good day for them. Still, if it wasn't for the positive contributions Purdue has gotten from these players and the other five guys who comprise Purdue's main rotation, Purdue would never have gotten where they are today and I'm not going to dwell on one bad performance.
As for the NCAA Tournament, as I watched some of the other games this evening, I couldn't help but think it's just too bad that for a lot of teams, their whole season ends up riding on the whims of a Selection Committee. The truth is that there are an awful lot of really good teams out there (of which Purdue is one) and it seems to me that no matter which ones are included in the field of 65, there are going to be more teams than ever this year that will have a legitimate beef if they are not included. I honestly don't know why the NCAA Tournament couldn't be expanded to include everyone just like the Indiana High School State Tournament used to be for so many years. Personally, I think the Conference Tournaments have outlived their usefulness and I think it's time for the NCAA to expand the field to include everyone. Let's use things like RPI and Sagarin to seed the field and not let some arbitrary (and somewhat subjective) set of mathematical equations help determine who gets in and who doesn't.