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No. 15 Purdue Basketball Secures Big Ten Title with Edey’s Dominant Performance

In a thrilling showdown at Mackey Arena, No. 15 Purdue Basketball secured a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship by defeating Michigan State 80-74 on Saturday night. The victory marked Purdue’s 26th conference title, and with just two games remaining, the Boilermakers are poised to claim an outright championship for the second consecutive year.

Zach Edey, the standout center and a favorite for national player of the year, delivered a stellar performance with 32 points and 11 rebounds. Edey’s dominant presence in the paint, along with Braden Smith’s impressive contribution of 23 points and nine boards, propelled Purdue to victory. The celebration at Mackey Arena was accompanied by a cascade of gold confetti, highlighting Purdue’s remarkable achievement.

Coach Matt Painter expressed his pride in the team’s back-to-back accomplishment, emphasizing the challenges of navigating a 20-game conference schedule. He particularly commended the seniors for their contributions to the program, acknowledging their commitment to doing things the right way.

The last Big Ten team to achieve back-to-back outright regular-season titles was Ohio State in 2006 and 2007, underscoring the rarity and significance of Purdue’s recent success.

Michigan State, despite a valiant effort, struggled to contain Purdue’s offensive prowess, shooting just 39%. Tyson Walker led the Spartans with 14 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Purdue’s formidable lineup.

The game showcased Fletcher Loyer’s sharpshooting abilities, as he made four crucial 3-pointers, helping Purdue maintain control throughout the contest. The Boilermakers extended their home winning streak to an impressive 16 games.

Purdue’s path to the championship saw them run out to a 15-point lead in the second half, only to face a resilient Michigan State comeback. A.J. Hoggard’s 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 58-55, prompting a timeout from Coach Painter. However, Purdue responded emphatically, with Smith sinking a crucial 3-pointer to steady the ship.

Looking ahead, Purdue appears to be in a strong position for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers boast an impressive resume, with 10 Quad 1 wins, the most in the country. Their undefeated record against current members of the AP Top 25 further solidifies their claim as one of the nation’s top teams.

Michigan State, on the other hand, faces a challenging road ahead. Despite the loss, their spot in the NCAA’s NET rankings remains respectable at 24th. However, the program’s streak of making 25 consecutive NCAA Tournaments could be in jeopardy if they don’t secure a victory in one of their remaining regular-season games.

Purdue’s next matchup will be eagerly anticipated, as they aim to clinch the outright Big Ten title in their final two games. The Boilermakers have undeniably etched their name in the conference’s history with this remarkable achievement.