Purdue has a second chance to play as a No. 1 team, but it will be the last for the Boilermakers for awhile.
The Boilermakers try to regroup from their first loss of the season when they take on North Carolina State on Sunday afternoon at Brooklyn, N.Y. This game is part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.
Purdue’s stay atop the rankings is expected to be brief. Playing in its first true road game of the season, the Boilermakers lost 70-68 to Rutgers on Ron Harper Jr.’s long 3-pointer in transition at the buzzer Thursday night. That was the first game in program history while holding a No. 1 ranking. The next poll comes out Monday.
“If you allow it to be close, crazy things can happen,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of the outcome.
Sunday’s assignment for Purdue comes not far from the location of the team’s first defeat of the season.
Purdue (8-1) was one of the final 10 unbeaten teams in the country. The Boilermakers want to make sure they’ve learned from the defeat.
“There’s a lot of lessons,” Ethan Morton said. “We just have to value possessions. … We’re going to be better because of it in the long run.”
NC State coach Kevin Keatts said he likes the mixed experience his team has gained during the first month of the season. The matchup with Purdue should add to that.
“We talk about it all the time, if you want to win a championship, you have to win all types of games,” Keatts said. “You have to win the ugly games, you have got to win the games when you are up 20, down 20, even when things are not going well. Don’t let the game get away from you because you are not scoring.”
NC State has faced a No. 1-ranked team 33 times, winning five of those. That includes two of the last four such assignments, with the Duke the victim both times (Feb. 15, 2004 and Jan. 12, 2013).
The only instances in which the Wolfpack entered a game unranked and conquered a No. 1 team came by toppling North Carolina in 1995 and 1998.
The Wolfpack (7-2) beat visiting Bethune-Cookman 65-48 on Thursday night.
“I am just glad we got a game in and we won a game before (playing Purdue),” Keatts said. “Obviously, in this program when you lose a game, you get sick. We wanted to get well. Losing to Louisville and coming back to get the win and get back on the right track.”
Dereon Seabron has six double-doubles this season for the Wolfpack. It sounds like NC State could have Casey Morsell back after missing two games with an ankle injury. He went through pregame warm-ups but didn’t play Thursday.
Purdue started 8-0 under Painter for the third time, but the Boilermakers failed to secure its first 9-0 mark since the 2015-16 season.
Purdue will be going for its third win of the season against a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference after defeating North Carolina and Florida State.
Painter has 363 coaching victories, putting him one away from matching Branch McCracken and Bo Ryan for sixth on the overall win lists for Big Ten Conference coaches.
NC State is 4-1 all-time vs. Purdue, though the Boilermakers won the most-recent clash seven years ago.
–Field Level Media