WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue men’s basketball was rewarded for its outstanding season Sunday as it was revealed that the Boilermakers will be the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region and face 13th-seeded Vermont in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
Tip will be at 7:27 p.m. ET / 6:27 p.m. CT, on Thursday and be televised by TruTV. Carter Blackburn and Mike Gminski will handle the national television call.
The owners of two of the greatest nicknames in college athletics, the Boilermakers and Catamounts, will face off in the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, with the winner advancing to face the winner of fifth-seeded Iowa State and 12th-seeded Nevada in the second round Saturday. Tip times and television assignments will be announced at a later time.
Purdue’s No. 4 seed is its highest since earning a 3-seed in the 2011 tournament. It is Purdue’s 29th NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th top-four seed.
The Boilermakers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-7 overall mark and as the 2017 Big Ten regular-season champions by two games. Purdue has won 11 of its last 14 games and finished the season ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Purdue is 1-of-7 teams nationally (Purdue, Kansas, Arizona, Villanova, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky) to be ranked in all 37 AP polls since the start of last year.
Led by National Player of the Year candidate and Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan, Purdue brings a balanced lineup into this year’s NCAA Tournament. Boasting one of the nation’s best frontcourts in Swanigan and Isaac Haas (30.7 points per game combined), the Boilermakers also rely on one of the nation’s top perimeter attacks, ranking seventh nationally in 3-point percentage (.406) and having five players with at least 42 made 3-pointers. Purdue has set a school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 288.
Vermont, located in Burlington, Vermont, enters the NCAA Tournament with a 29-5 overall record and owners of the nation’s longest winning streak at 21 games. The Catamounts sport an efficient offensive attack, averaging 73.6 points per game and shooting 49.6 percent from the field. Anthony Lamb, a 6-foot, 6-inch freshman leads Vermont in scoring (12.6) and rebounding (5.4), while Payton Henson (6-8, 215) averages 11.4 points per game. Junior point guard Trae Bell-Haynes was the America East Player of the Year after averaging 11.1 points and 3.8 assists per game.
It will mark the second meeting between the two teams as Purdue defeated Vermont a year ago in Mackey Arena, 107-79.