Mon. May 20th, 2024

Purdue Defeats N.C. State 63-50 to Advance to the NCAA March Madness Championship Game

In NCAA championship Zach Edey scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as Purdue defeated North Carolina State 63-50 on Saturday, ending the Wolfpack’s hopes of winning their first championship.

The 7-foot-4 Edey was taunted and frustrated by N.C. State during his 40 minutes on the court, but he still won the big-man battle against the 6-9, 275-pound Wolfpack center DJ Burns Jr., who struggled to eight points and four assists. At 20 points, DJ Horne led the Wolfpack, who were ranked eleventh.

 

NCAA

 

Defending champion UConn takes on Purdue (34-4) in the NCAA championship game on Monday night. N.C. State (26-15) concluded its season two wins short of repeating its feat from 1983, when it won nine straight games it needed to win to claim one of the most improbable titles in history.

Some may also consider Purdue’s run as the top-seeded team improbable. Only one season after finishing as the second-best seed to lose in the opening round, the program is in the Final Four for the first time since 1980.

 

NCAA

 

The squad led by Edey and coach Matt Painter has already defeated every obstacle. Even though Braden Smith, their second-leading scorer, only shot 1 for 9 and finished with eight rebounds and six assists, he still managed to score three points on this occasion.

He was not the only one without access to a bucket purchase. This time in NCAA, the N.C. State squad, which trailed Duke 55-37 at the half and advanced to the Elite Eight, shot 28.6% over the final 20 minutes, including numerous open shots that were just not falling.

The result was some awful hoops. Early in the second half, there was a period of time when both sides missed ten consecutive shots.

Despite all of his difficulties, Smith ended N.C. State’s season with a dagger.

 

NCAA

 

It occurred at the conclusion of a sequence in which Smith and Fletcher Loyer made back-to-back threes on the other end, Horne attempted an airball, and Edey blocked a jumper from N.C. State guard Jayden Taylor out of the paint.

Smith’s helped extend Purdue’s lead to 20 points with an 8-0 run. The only drama left to unfold was whether the Wolfpack would score more than 52 points, which was their season low. They didn’t.

 

NCAA

 

The reigning AP Player of the Year, Edey, recorded his 29th double-double of the year. But for the top scorer in the country, this was no simple walk in the paint. At the end, N.C. State had eight steals. The majority originated from guards leaning over Edey and shooing it away.

Horne fared okay with Edey. Ben Middlebrooks of the Wolfpack performed even better. But in the end, Edey was simply too much to handle. N.C. State’s 36% shooting performance that evening was aided by his inside presence, two shot blocks, and approximately five other changes.