INDIANAPOLIS – The South Region’s No. 4 seed Purdue Boilermakers begin its quest toward a deep NCAA Tournament run as it battles No. 13 seed North Texas in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Friday. Purdue has won three straight opening-round games by a combined 49 points en route to three straight second-weekend appearances in college basketball’s premier event.
The contest will be aired by TNT, beginning at 7:25 p.m. ET, from Lucas Oil Stadium. Tom McCarthy, Avery Johnson and A.J. Ross will have the call courtside on the TV dial, while Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell handle the radio call on the Purdue Sports Network.
THE KEY TALKING POINTS
1) Purdue leads the series with North Texas by a 1-0 margin, having defeated the Mean Green in December 1970, 90-73.
2) Purdue is playing the Conference USA Tournament champion in the first round for the second straight time (Old Dominion – 2019).
3) Purdue is one of three programs to have received a top-4 seed in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments. The Boilermakers (4, 2, 3, 4) are joined by Kansas (1, 1, 4, 3) and Gonzaga (1, 4, 1, 1) on that list.
4) Purdue is one of three schools in the NCAA Tournament to make it to the Sweet 16 in each of the last three years (Gonzaga, Michigan).
5) Purdue’s six straight appearances rank as the seventh-longest streak in the country and second in the Big Ten.
6) Head coach Matt Painter needs two NCAA wins to tie Gene Keady (17) for sixth on the NCAA Tournament victories list by Big Ten coaches.
7) Purdue has finished in the top four of the Big Ten standings in 11 of 16 seasons during the Matt Painter era, including six of the last seven.
8) Purdue is 32-9 when scoring at least 70 points in the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers are 19-2 when scoring at least 80 points.
9) According to KenPom.com, Purdue ranks 327th (out of 347 teams) in experience (1.05 years). Purdue is the third-least experienced team in the tournament field (LSU, North Carolina).
10) Four freshmen earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, the most in league history. Michigan (2012-13) and Ohio St. (2010-11) had three each.
11) A Purdue freshman was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week in seven of a possible 15 weeks this season.
12) Purdue freshmen have scored at least 27 points in each of the last 10 games (38.0 points per game), accounting for 52.4 percent of Purdue’s scoring since Jan. 30.
13) Purdue is 1-of-6 teams nationally to rank in the top 25 in both offensive (23rd) and defensive (23rd) efficiency according to KenPom.com.