Record: 26-8 (12-6 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Matt Painter (11th season)
Season Recap: Many teams around the country made the NCAA tournament without a legitimate post presence, but Purdue is not one of them—the Boilermakers have three. 7-footer A.J. Hammons, 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas and 6-foot-9 Caleb Swanigan combine for 36.3 points and 21.3 rebounds per game, setting the tone for a team that started the season 11-0 and notched wins against Michigan State, Maryland and Wisconsin during conference play.
Swingmen Rapheal Davis—a lockdown defender—and Vince Edwards surround Purdue's big men, with a group of guards on the perimeter who look to provide balance from the perimeter. The Boilermakers tied for third in the Big Ten during the regular season and made a run to the conference tournament title game, where they fell in a close contest to Michigan State.
How they make a run: Swanigan—who averages a double-double—and Purdue's frontcourt powers a team that ranks in the top 25 in basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy's offensive and defensive efficiency metrics to its first Sweet 16 since 2010.
How they falter: A team without a perimeter player who averages more than three assists per game struggles to generate consistent offense and feed the Boilermaker post players, leading to another disappointing tournament loss for Painter's team.
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