HOW CAL STATE FULLERTON AND PURDUE MATCH UP
WHO: No. 2 Purdue (28-6) vs. No. 15 Fullerton (20-11).
WHAT: NCAA East Regional first-round game, Friday, 9:30 a.m. PDT.
WHERE: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit. TV: TruTV.
UPDATE: This is Purdue’s 30th NCAA tournament appearance, but the Boilermakers haven’t reached the Final Four since 1980. Fullerton’s experience in March is much more limited. The Titans last advanced to the tournament in 2008 — Purdue has played 15 tournament games since then — and haven’t won a tournament game since upsetting New Mexico and San Francisco in 1978. Current Fullerton coach Dedrique Taylor was only 3 years old then. … The Boilermakers won 19 consecutive games before three consecutive losses (by a combined nine points) knocked them out of contention for the Big Ten’s regular-season title. … Senior forward Vincent Edwards, the most experienced player on Purdue’s roster with 123 starts, has played four games since suffering a sprained right ankle a month ago. He has averaged 11.8 points and 4.5 rebounds a game after the injury, giving the team’s massive front line another talented option. “We’re expecting big things from him,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. … Purdue is one of the most well-rounded teams in college basketball with an offense (averaging 81.1 points a game) and defense (giving up 65.6) both ranking among the top 35 in the country. … What’s life like for the associate head coach of a team that unexpectedly makes the tournament? “It was either breaking down film or waking up in excitement saying, ‘I can’t believe we’ve done it,’” Fullerton’s John Smith said. “It’s been two or three hours of sleep each night.”
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