Purdue was slept on to start the season and put together a really good season resume. No one saw them winning the Big Ten conference, and that is just what they did. However, a few late losses at the end of the season has many wondering if the Boilermakers truly deserve to be a one seed by the time March Madness comes around.
Why the Boilermakers are a one seed
There are many factors that could go into Purdue being a one seed. To start, they won a Big Ten conference that most predicted them to finish close to the bottom of the preseason. To go along with that, the Boilermakers are 25-5 on the season, with all five losses being in the Big Ten. They were a perfect 11-0 outside of the conference games, beating teams like Gonzaga, Duke, Marquette, and West Virginia. Purdue is 15-5 in quadrant one and two, while being a percent 10-0 in quadrant three and four. Most look at the recent games and see a Purdue team that has strung together a few bad losses. However, this is a team that can do some legit damage, especially when they dominate you in the paint with the seven footer Zach Edey.
Purdue’s losses include one early on in the Big Ten play to Rutgers, two games to Indiana, then back to back losses one at Northwestern and another one to Maryland. The Big Ten is one of the hardest conferences to play in, and winning it outright proves just how good this Purdue team was this year. With potentially having the player of the year and only five losses, this team has a good case to be a one seed in the Tourney. They do not have to win the Big Ten Conference Tourney, but a deep run will for sure help the cause.
Why Purdue should not be
While they do have a really good resume put together to be a one seed, seeing some of those losses could be seen as a bit too bad. Aliso, UCLA just recently removed Purdue from a one seed, and they had a really good case for it. One reason this team could not be a one seed is what the press did to them and some of the weaknesses other Big Ten teams showed. There was a four to five game stretch where Purdue lost two to three games while also not being able to break a press and struggling with turning the ball over.
This could partially do with this being the most “average” Purdue roster in awhile. Outside of Zach Edey, Purdue has two true freshman guards in Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith, a freshman forward (Caleb Furst) that splits time with Mason Gillis, and Ethan Morton/Brandon Newman. While all of these players can be good players, they are by no means great or all start level players. The players are still good enough to be effective, but Purdue is for sure missing one of the guards from the past, like Carsen Edwards or Jaden Ivey.
The real reason I think they will not get the one seed if they do not is because of the two Indiana losses or a terrible loss in the Big Ten tourney. Losing by five and seven to the Hoosiers, those were by no means massive losses. However, not only was Purdue favored in these games, Purdue usually wins one if not both of these games in a given year. Also, losing at home with freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino dropping 35 while Trayce Jackson-Davis scored basically nothing at all, yeah that will be a bad look. Regardless, the fact Purdue has had some “bad” conference losses along with being seen as not as good as other schools, like UCLA, is why many see Purdue as not a one seed. A quick exit from the Big Ten Tourney also would for sure hurt them as well.
When it comes to how I feel, I feel as if Purdue has done enough to be a one seed. With all five losses being in conference and of the top two quads, it is hard to see how they should not be a one seed. Playing and winning a conference you are predicted to finish in the bottom of is very hard, let alone it being in the Big Ten. The Big Ten is the conference with some of the most parity, and legit anyone can beat anyone any game out. Matt Painter did an amazing job this season getting the boys ready and playing so well. Looking at the whole resume and just not the last two weeks, I find it hard to take away a one seed from this Purdue Boilermakers Squad led by the favorite to win player of the year Zach Edey.
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