Edey Wills Purdue to Final Four

Edey Wills Purdue to Final Four

by: Steven Stremming, Excel H Sports/USBWA

Photo by: Tony Harper/Excel H Sports/Indiana Sports Network

Purdue fought and won the battle to gain a spot in the Final Four. A first for Boiler Nation since 1980.

The main cog in the win, the reigning player of the year, Zach Edey.

Edey would score a career high in point with 40, that even included an air ball free throw, which I am sure he will be teased about on the way home.

But that was the just a side story to Edey’s over-all dominating performance.

Edey would score his 40 on 13 of 21 shots from the floor, including a up and under move on the left side of the basket that showed his finesse.

Edey also collected 14 of 22 from the charity line, he also drew 13 opponent fouls himself.

Edey also added 16 rebounds.

Edey is the first player with 40-plus points and at least 16 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game since Bo Kimble of Loyola Marymount had 45 points and 18 rebounds in a 1990 contest against New Mexico State.

For Tennessee, their answer was Dalton Knecht, the best transfer from last season where he played for Northern Colorado.

Knecht would nearly match Edey’s efforts as he scored 37 points on a 14 of 31 from the field, which included six of twelve from behind the arc.

The majority of the game was a one-on-one match between Edey and Knecht much to the delight of the packed house in Little Casear’s Arena in Detroit.

Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer was the only other player on either side to post double figures scoring. Loyer hit four of twelve from the floor, on drives and pull-up jumpers.

Loyer would end the game with 14 points including a crucial five of six free throw tosses.

Purdue’s Braden Smith again showed his prowess as he scored nine points but added seven assists and rebounds in the victory.

Mason Gillis didn’t score but was a nightmare match-up for the Vols as he grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists.

Lance Jones scored seven points that included a spot up from the corner for a three that gave Purdue a 66-60 lead.

No other Vol or Boiler scored double figure scoring.

Purdue moves on to Phoenix.

(The following is courtesy of Purdue University Athletics)

  • The No. 3-ranked and top-seeded Purdue men’s basketball team topped No. 6-ranked and second-seeded Tennessee 72-66 in the Midwest Regional Finals on Sunday in Detroit.
  • The win moves Purdue to the Final Four for the third time ever and the first time since 1980.
  • Purdue’s 33 wins are the most in school history by three games (30 in 2017-18).
  • Purdue has won its four games in the NCAA Tournament by a combined 85 points.
  • Purdue improved to 10-0 this season against nationally-ranked teams, including 7-0 against teams ranked in the AP Top 12 at the time of the game. The 10 wins without a loss against the AP top 25 are tied for the most in NCAA history with Kentucky (10-0 in 2011-12).
  • Purdue has won 21 straight non-conference and postseason games against power-conference or nationally-ranked teams, the second-longest streak in NCAA history behind UCLA (1971 to 1974).
  • Purdue is now 19-5 against nationally-ranked teams since the start of the 2021-22 season.
  • Zach Edey scored a career-high 40 points with 16 rebounds en route to earning Midwest Region MOP honors.
  • Zach Edey becomes the first player since Indiana State’s Larry Bird to have at least 900 points and 450 rebounds in a season (now with 926 points, 452 rebounds). He joins Bird, Houston’s Elvin Hayes, Miami’s Rick Barry and Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson as the only players to do so.
  • Edey’s 40 points are the eighth-most in NCAA Tournament history in a Regional Final game, but aren’t even a school record. Carsen Edwards had 42 points in 2019 vs. Virginia.
  • Edey is the first player in NCAA history to have at least 40 points and 15 rebounds in a Regional Final.
  • In the NCAA Tournament, Edey is averaging 30.0 points and 16.3 rebounds per game. Edey’s 22 free throw attempts are tied for the fifth most in a game in school history and are tied for the most in a Regional Final in NCAA Tournament history.
  • Edey is now averaging 25.0 points per game and is the first player since Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson in 1960 to lead the country in scoring and advance to the Final Four.
  • Edey recorded his 28thdouble-double of the season, tying a school and Big Ten record for double-doubles in a season (Caleb Swanigan – 28; 2016-17).
  • Edey’s 16 rebounds gave him 452 for the season – a new Purdue school record and the third most in Big Ten history.
  • Edey’s 424 free throw attempts are the fifth most in a season in NCAA history. The NCAA record is 440 set by Furman’s Frank Selvy in 1953-54.
  • The 30-10 game was his 17thof his career and the 40-10 game was the first in an NCAA Regional Final since Loyola Marymount’s Bo Kimble in 1990 (42 points, 11 rebounds).
  • The 40-15 game is the first 40-15 game for a Boilermaker since Dave Schellhase vs. Notre Dame on Jan. 21, 1964.
  • Braden Smith joined Edey on the Midwest Region All-Tournament team after having nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the win over Tennessee.
  • Smith now has 278 assists on the season, the second most in a season in Big Ten history (Cassius Winston – 291; 2018-19)


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