Few teams entered the weekend hotter than Purdue. The Boilermakers had won seven straight, including wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin and had an outside shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Then it went to Iowa, a trip that should’ve been as ominous as watching “Field of Dreams.” The Hawkeyes (11-19, 4-14) entered the game at the bottom of the league standings and as nine-point underdogs.
Not so much.
Purdue’s 67-65 loss will go down as the Big Ten upset of the year and will end any hopes for a top seed. The Boilermakers’ impressive showing over the past few weeks will get overshadowed by a bad loss, the worst by any team vying for a No. 1 seed.
Hey, even Purdue’s fans are mad about this one. There’s no sugarcoating it.
So who’s that leave? Entering Saturday, Ohio State, Pitt and Kansas boasted the best résumés for No. 1 seeds. The Panthers and Jayhawks both did their part by beating ranked teams. And even if the Buckeyes lose Sunday vs. Wisconsin, it’ll still have an argument for the top overall seed.
Those three aren’t going anywhere.
That leaves Duke, Notre Dame, Texas and BYU as the viable options for that last 1 seed, though it’ll probably come down to the Devils and Irish.
And Purdue? It’ll likely end as a 2 or 3 seed depending on what happens in the Big Ten tournament. One loss isn’t enought to completely destroy any views of the Boilers as a Final Four contender. But it sure doesn’t help.
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