[1] Purdue 78, [16] Grambling 50 (Postgame Notes)

Purdue improved to 30-4 with a 78-50 victory over Grambling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis on Friday night.

The 30 victories ties a school record, set during the 2017-18 season (30-7).

Purdue will play for a shot in its fifth Sweet 16 in the last seven seasons on Sunday, dating to the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Purdue made the Sweet 16 in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.

The win was Purdue’s 12th straight against non-conference opponents, being undefeated this season against non-conference opponents.

The 28-point margin was Purdue’s largest in the NCAA Tournament since March 13, 1998 (95-56 vs. Delaware).

The 50 points allowed were the fewest since March 21, 2019 vs. Old Dominion (61-48 win).

Purdue recorded 23 assists against 10 turnovers, improving to 24-0 when having 13 or fewer turnovers.

Purdue has won 18 straight games when having 10 or fewer turnovers.

Purdue shot 15-of-27 (.556) from the field in the second half, while holding Grambling to 8-of-29 (.276) in the second half.

Zach Edey became just the second player in the last 50 years to record a 30-20 game in the NCAA Tournament, joining Maryland’s Joe Smith vs. Texas (March 18, 1995) as the only players to do so in the last 50 years.

Edey became the first player since Memphis’ Larry Kenon in 1975 to have at least 30 points, 20 rebounds, three blocks and two assists in an NCAA Tournament game.

The 30-20 game was his third of his career, the most for a player in the last 25 years.

Edey became the first player in NCAA history with 800 points, 400 rebounds, 50 assists and 50 blocks in a season, entering the second-round matchup with 836 points, 408 rebounds, 76 blocked shots and 70 assists.

Edey’s 836 points are the seventh most in a season in Big Ten history, while his 408 rebounds are the ninth most in a season.

Braden Smith recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 11 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, while not turning the ball over.

Smith’s 10 assists with no turnovers made him the first Purdue player since Nov. 2011 (Lewis Jackson) to have at least 10 assists with no turnovers.

Smith became the seventh player in Big Ten history to have 250 assists in a season.

Braden Smith needs four rebounds to become the fifth player in NCAA history with 425 points, 250 assists and 200 rebounds in a season (UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth, Cal’s Jason Kidd, Michigan State’s Magic Johnson).

INDIANAPOLIS — Don’t be fooled by the nonchalance after the fact.

On the surface, Purdue’s 78-50 win over Grambling was standard business Friday night. The top-seeded Boilermakers steamrolled the 16-seed Tigers and made good on their status as heavy favorites.

But a year ago, Purdue became the second No. 1 seed ever to lose to a 16-seed when it fell to Fairleigh Dickinson. On Thursday, Purdue star Zach Edey said a lot of the team’s players had the stunning upset in the back of their minds.

Edey erased any notion of that happening again. He had 30 points and 21 rebounds against the Tigers.

After the win, he said he wanted to send a message to his teammates — and others who were also thinking about that loss a year ago — about this year’s group.

“(I) tried to play as hard as I can, trying to send a message to the team: We’re here, we’re ready, we’re good,” he said. “Send a message to the country: We’re good.”

Whether Edey was referring to the team’s quality or mental resolve, both questions were soundly answered by the end of the evening.

Grambling (21-15), making its first NCAA men’s tournament appearance, kept things close in the first half. The Tigers trailed by four points with 3:38 left before Purdue sophomore guard Fletcher Loyer hit a 3-pointer and a lay-up to give the Boilermakers (30-4) a 36-27 lead at the break.

By that point, Edey already had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

In the second half, the reigning national player of the year further asserted his dominance. He helped the Boilermakers stretch their lead over the course of the final 20 minutes as a very partisan crowd inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse roared with each big play.

Edey became the first player since Maryland’s Joe Smith in 1995 to have a 30-point, 20-rebound game in the NCAA tournament. It was his third career game with 30 points and 20 rebounds, the most of any player in Division I over the last 25 seasons.

The 7-foot-4 center was exactly as advertised.

“I don’t think nobody has seen anything like Zach Edey,” Grambling guard Kintavious Dozier said. “That’s kind of unreal. What they say he is on paper, he’s exactly that.”

Tigers coach Donte’ Jackson issued a warning to other teams that will have to face him and Purdue the rest of the tournament.

“The reality of the situation is,” Jackson said, “I hope you’re equipped for it.”