This is surprising in that Purdue’s spiritual leader and best defender, Nojel Eastern, sprained his ankle in warmups. Can’t make this stuff up. I can’t imagine how the line changed quickly in Vegas when it happened.
I’m sitting courtside next to Michael Abelson of The New Hampshire Union, who just said to me - “Looks like you’ll be coming back here on Saturday.”
“Don’t say that,” I told him. “I was in Chicago when Purdue had a big lead and wound up losing in the first round to VCU. Anything can happen.”
Like a guy turning his ankle in warmups. I didn’t see it happen. I went up into the very narrow concourse and tried to make it around the arena to meet some Purdue people. The concourse is as narrow as Mackey Arena used to be, so it took a while.
The one thing on our side is that we have Carson Edwards. A ball came over by the endline where I’m sitting and I remembered just how powerful his legs are. He’s only 6-1, but he’ll go in the first round. He had a bad game in losing in the first round of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center. He’s ready to play today.
Life goes on, Nojel Eastern or not. Edwards has 13 points and 5 rebounds. He will have to play lights out for Purdue to make it to Saturday against Villanova.