Purdue, the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region, surrendered a 19-point lead in the second half, but avoided an all-out collapse with an 80-76 victory over No. 5 seed Iowa State in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament from Milwaukee.
The Boilermakers were led by Caleb Swanigan, who registered another double-double, this time going for 20 points and 12 rebounds. Vince Edwards followed with 21 points and 10 boards.
Deonte Burton scored 17 of his game-high 25 points after halftime. Monte Morris, in the final game of his college career, had 18 points and nine assists.
The Cyclones trailed by 19 — 58-39 — with more than 13 minutes remaining in regulation, but erased that deficit to take a two-point lead late in the game. With three minutes to go, PJ Thompson put the Boilermakers up for good with a 3-pointer, reclaiming the lead at 74-73. Purdue would never relinquish the lead again.
Purdue advances to face the winner of top-seeded Kansas and No. 9 Michigan State. In two games against the Spartans, Swanigan is averaging 24.5 points and 16.0 rebounds per game. The concern for Kansas is that Swanigan is capable of putting up the same production against the thin Jayhawk frontline. The Boilermakers’ frontline is where they hold the advantage over almost every team in the nation, as Isaac Haas, a 7-foot-2 junior, accompanies Swanigan in the front court.
Purdue won’t be an easy out as it eyes a spot in the Elite Eight. The Boilermakers take on the winner of Kansas/Michigan State next week.