WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The celebration of an NCAA Tournament win over Butler lasted through the night, but on Monday, Purdue’s thoughts turned to the Sweet 16.
“We want to take the next step,” said senior Vincent Edwards. “We gotta come out. We gotta get ready. We gotta get focused on them.”
“It was exciting last night to come away with a win like we did,” continued senior Dakota Mathias. “I think we’re very fortunate. A lot of teams, especially this March. There’s been a lot of upsets, a lot of teams that weren’t ready to play and got beat.”
Purdue will face Texas Tech in the Sweet 16. Though the Boilers didn’t know too much about the Red Raiders Monday afternoon, they do know their head coach. Chris Beard led Arkansas Little Rock to an upset win over Purdue in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
“Grady (Eifert) told me that this morning,” said Edwards. He added with a chuckle, “I think we basically helped him get that job.
“We kinda laugh about it, but he’s a great coach.”
“His teams play extremely hard, coming up (with the) Eddie Sutton, Bob Knight background,” added head coach Matt Painter, pointing out Beard’s time as an assistant under Bob Knight at Texas Tech from 2001-2008. “They play tough, hard-nosed man-to-man defense.”
Purdue and Texas Tech will meet in the final Sweet 16 game to be played in the tournament, scheduled for Friday at approximately 9:57 p.m. on TBS.