No. 15 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 2 Purdue
FRIDAY AT LITTLE CAESAR’S ARENA, DETROIT
How they got here: Fullerton finished fourth in the Big West Conference, then swept through the conference tournament to earn the automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. Purdue was one of the top-ranked teams in the nation most of the season, rising as high as No. 3 in the Associated Press poll.
Last 10 games: Fullerton 7-3; Purdue 6-4. Record vs. NCAA tournament teams: Fullerton 0-0; Purdue 4-3.
Best victory: Fullerton defeated Ivy League co-champion Harvard 70-61. Purdue defeated Arizona, which is seeded fourth in the South Regional, 89-64.
Common opponents: none.
Fullerton lineup: Starters – G Kyle Allman Jr. (19.4 ppg, 2.4 apg), G Austen Awosika (7.4 ppg, 2.7 apg), G Khalil Ahmad (15.3 ppg), F Jackson Rowe (12.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg), F Arkim Robertson (5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg). Top reserves – G Jamal Smith (4.0 ppg), F Davon Clare (3.4 ppg), F Dominki Heinzl (2.3 ppg).
Purdue lineup: Starters – G Carsen Edwards (18.5 ppg. 3.0 apg), G Dakota Mathias (12.4 ppg, 3.9 apg). G P.J. Thompson (7.1 ppg), F Vincent Edwards (14.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg), C Isaac Haas (14.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Reserves – F Matt Haarms (4.8 ppg), G Ryan Cline (4.0 ppg), Nojel Eastern (3.0 ppg).
It’s a fact: Former Fullerton coach Bobby Dye, after leading the Titans to the West Regional final in 1978, was contacted by Purdue about its job opening. Dye remained at Fullerton and the Boilermakers hired Lee Rose.