4th-ranked Purdue preps for top-seeded Kansas

FILE - Purdue junior forward Vincent Edwards prepares to shoot the basketball doing an open practice Wednesday, March 15, 2017, a day before the 4th-seeded team is set to take on 13th-seeded Vermont. Purdue beat Vermont 80-70. (WLFI File Photo)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WLFI) — The 4th-seeded Purdue Boilermakers are in Kansas City hoping for a Sweet 16 victory Thursday night. A win over top-seeded Kansas would send the Boilers onto the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament.

But it won’t be easy.

Besides the No. 1 ranking, the University of Kansas is only 30 minutes away from the Sprint Center – where the game will take place. So the Jayhawks are pretty much graced with home-court advantage.

“We’re just embracing it, embracing it all, one step at a time,” Purdue junior forward Vincent Edwards said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be here, to be playing in Kansas City, to be in the Sweet 16. Just embracing what we’ve done, we just know we don’t want to be done – we want to keep going.”

This year marks the first the Boilermakers have reached the Sweet 16 since 2010. But Purdue senior Spike Albrecht is no stranger to the tournament. The former Michigan guard reached the championship round with the Wolverines during the 2012-13 season.

When asked about Kansas being favored in Thursday’s matchup, Albrecht had this to say.

“That’s fine. Obviously, Kansas is a really good team. But I don’t think we’re worried about that. We’re just going to go out there and play our game, do what we do and see what happens,” Albrecht said.

Purdue junior guard P.J. Thompson also believes his team has what it takes to shock a lot of people.

“We won at Michigan State this year, we won at Iowa, IU, so I think playing in those environments will prepare us for something like this. Iowa State … I think they had more fans there than we did too, so we’ve played in big time road games all year,” Thompson said. “This one obviously be the biggest, but we’re prepared for it.”

Purdue (27-7) vs. Kansas (30-4) will be broadcast on Thursday at 9:40 p.m. ET on WLFI-TV.