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3 takeaways from Purdue's convincing Sweet 16 victory over Gonzaga

Purdue just keeps winning.

The Boilermakers earned another dominant NCAA Tournament victory on Friday night, beating No. 5-seeded Gonzaga 80-68. Purdue now finds itself just one win away from the Final Four.

Matt Painter’s squad has won all 3 of its NCAA Tournament games so far this season in dominant fashion. Purdue has defeated Grambling State, Utah State and Gonzaga by an averaged of 26.3 points per game.

Here are 3 takeaways from Purdue’s win:

Zach Edey’s dominance

As usual, Zach Edey led the way for Purdue with 27 points and 14 rebounds. He was an efficient 10-of-15 from the field and was also a huge presence on the defensive end of the floor despite not recording a block.

Edey was responsible for all 10 of Purdue’s free throw attempts in this game. He went 7-of-10 at the line in the win and played a part in fouling-out Gonzaga’s Anton Watson and Graham Ike.

Edey as now scored 25+ points in 9 consecutive games.

Second-half surge

Purdue took just a 4-point lead into the break, but was really able to separate from Gonzaga in the second half. It held the Bulldogs to just 32 points on 30 shots after the break.

At the same time that Purdue’s defense was tightening up, its offense exploded. The Boilermakers shot north of 60% from the floor in the second half. Edey scored 16 of his 27 points after halftime.

Gonzaga pulled within 2 points midway through the second half as Nolan Hickman hit a jumper to make it a 53-51 game with 13:01 remaining. From there, Purdue went on a 16-2 run over the next 5:28 to put the game away. After that run, the Boilermakers never led by single-digits the rest of the way.

Looking ahead to Sunday

Purdue has now advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2019. The Boilermakers are also just one win away from getting back to the Final Four for the first time since 1980.

Purdue will face the winner of Creighton and Tennessee in the next round. The Blue Jays and Vols are the next highest-seeded teams in the region, so Purdue will face a very tough path to the Final Four either way.

Of course, Purdue is also playing for redemption after it became just the second team ever to lose to a No. 16 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The only other program to do so, Virginia, won the national championship in its ensuing season.

Located in Ohio? You can still sign up for one of Saturday Tradition’s recommended mobile sportsbooks in Ohio and take advantage of a new-user bonus during the NCAA Tournament!

Spenser Davis
Spenser is the news manager at Saturday Road and covers college football across all Saturday Football brands. Follow on Twitter.

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