Troy Caupain got Cincinnati to overtime with his buzzer-beating layup, then Coreontae DeBerry helped the eighth-seeded Bearcats beat Purdue 66-65 Thursday night in their opening game in the NCAA Tournament.
The Bearcats trailed by seven with 48.5 seconds left in regulation and forced overtime with a 10-3 run. Caupain's driving layup banked off the glass, rolled around and hit the glass again — staying on the back rim for a moment — before falling through. That sent the Bearcats celebrating while officials reviewed the play to make sure Caupain did beat the buzzer.
In overtime, DeBerry scored four of his 13 points helping Cincinnati take a lead it wouldn't lose again as the Bearcats outscored Purdue 7-6 in the extra time.
Vince Edwards' would-be tying 3 hit off the rim at the buzzer for the Boilermakers (21-13).
The Bearcats (23-10) will play either No. 1 Kentucky or Hampton on Saturday in the Midwest Region. Farad Cobb led Cincinnati with 14 points.
Cincinnati won for the sixth time in seven games and also won their NCAA opener for the first time since 2012 after Purdue failed to put away the game leading 59-46 on a pair of free throws by Jon Octeus.
But when Octeus hit only one of two free throws with 7.4 seconds left, Caupain drove to the basket to force overtime. Caupain crouched underneath the basket briefly waiting for officials to rule he beat the buzzer.
Purdue snapped a 14-game winning streak in its NCAA openers. The Boilermakers last led 63-61 on a dunk by A.J. Hammons with 3:48 left. They didn't score again until Octeus' layup with 7 seconds left. Caupain missed a free throw, allowing Purdue one final chance that didn't go down to force another overtime.
Hammons finished with 17 points for Purdue, and Edwards had 14.
This was destined to be a defensive showdown with Cincinnati sixth nationally allowing 55.3 points a game and Purdue having led the Big Ten holding opponents to 39.3 percent shooting. The tight game had 16 lead changes.
Purdue: The Boilermakers' 14-game winning streak in NCAA Tournament openers had been the the fifth-longest streak in NCAA history. The streak started in 1994 with Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson and a win over UCF. Their last opening NCAA loss was in 1993 to Rhode Island. … They outrebounded Cincinnati 50-38.
Cincinnati: This was the Bearcats' fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth, making them one of only 11 schools with such a streak. … They lost their opener as No. 5 seed last year and as a No. 6 seed in 2013. … They came in sixth in the nation in scoring defense allowing 55.3 points per game. That's the third fewest in school history, topped only by the national championship squad in 1962 and the national runner-up in 1963. … They now are 5-2 in NCAA games in Louisville all-time.
EJECTION: Bearcats junior forward Octavius Ellis was ejected with 17:53 left after officials reviewed a play and saw Ellis catch A.J. Hammons with an elbow to the neck. It was Ellis' third ejection this season.
Cincinnati: Likely Kentucky on Saturday.