Hail to the Victors!

I only say that because Purdue came out victoriously yesterday against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. The Boilers won 72-58 to go 24-7 on the season. Who would have thought that a record like that was possible at the beginning of the year? They also went 15-3 in the Big Ten. I am disappointed that we didn’t get at least a share of the title this year, but that was just because we were playing so well that I thought anything was possible. I know that later on down the road I will look back on this year as one of the best that I have seen. The low expectations that turned into big dreams is what will make the season special. It reminds me a lot of the 1997 season for the football team. Now that we have proven that we can play with the big boys it will be expected, and won’t be as sweet. Although I am looking forward to a lot of sold out games next year in Mackey. We will be fun to watch.
This game was very close until the very end. The key sequence of the game happened with about eight minutes to go in the game. With the Boilers down a basket Keaton Grant nailed a three pointer to put Purdue up one. Marcus Green then stole the inbounds pass and immediately laid it in to give the Boilers a three point lead. After a defensive stop Grant hit another three to put Purdue up six. This eight point swing really gave us the momentum that we needed to win the game. After a Wolverine bucket Grant hit another three, and we scored five of the next eight points to give us a ten point lead. Marcus Green was really getting on the players going in to the timeout that preceded the run. He was fired up, and was the difference maker yesterday. He did not have the points, but his play really sparked us at a point when we looked to be playing very lazily. In those last eight minutes we only gave up eight points. Our defense seemed to feed off of our offense and really came alive at the end.
I saw online that they announced a crowd of over 12,000 for the game. I would say that about half of that actually showed up. I would also guess that some of those unused tickets were Michigan season ticket holders who were sick of watching their team lose, and the other half were Purdue fans who bought tickets expecting to see their team win at least a share of the Big Ten title.
After the game we went to a bar called the Monkey Bar and watched the women win the Big Ten Tournament. What a day to be a Boilermaker! The banner that will be hung in Mackey next year will probably be the sweetest of all of them because of what they had to go through to get there. If I am not mistaken it will be by itself in the rafters. We will have to get a couple more next season to keep it company.

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