Zach Edey scores career-high 40 and Purdue moves on to Final Four with 72-66 win over Tennessee

Sun, Mar 31, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Zach Edey scores career-high 40 and Purdue moves on to Final Four with 72-66 win over Tennessee

DETROIT (AP) - Purdue big man Zach Edey went for a career-high 40 points along with 16 rebounds and one big block Sunday to muscle the Boilermakers into the program's first Final Four since 1980 with a 72-66 victory over Tennessee.

The 7-foot-4 center willed his way to a win in a back-and-forth thriller between the country's top two players, edging out Tennessee's All-American, Dalton Knecht, who finished with 37 points.

Fittingly for this showdown, Edey swatted away Knecht's layup as the Northern Colorado transfer drove to the basket while trailing by five with 33 seconds left, putting an end to the Vols' desperate comeback hopes.

Top-seeded Purdue (33-4) set aside last year's grand disappointment - a first-round loss as a No. 1 seed - to book the trip to Glendale, Arizona. On Saturday, the Boilermakers will play either Duke or North Carolina State in the national semifinals.

This was a scrapfest of a game played in front of an ear-splitting crowd packed with Purdue fans who made their way up from Indiana.

They were looking for history, and they got it - along with the game ball that Fletcher Loyer chucked about 20 rows into the stands when the buzzer went off.

READ MORE N.C. State and its 2 DJs headed to 1st Final Four since 1983 after 76-64 win over Duke Dalton Knecht's huge day can't quite carry Tennessee past Zach Edey and Purdue ACC-bound SMU close to hiring USC's Andy Enfield as the Mustangs' basketball coach, AP source says

SOUTH REGION

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 76, DUKE 64

DALLAS (AP) - Bruising big man DJ Burns Jr. scored a season-high 29 points, DJ Horne scored 20 and 11th-seeded North Carolina State reached its first Final Four in four decades, beating Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke in the South Region final.

N.C. State (26-14) is back in the national semifinals for the first time since the late Jim Valvano was sprinting around the court looking for someone to hug after winning the 1983 national title with an upset over Houston and Phi Slama Jama.

These Wolfpack head to Glendale, Arizona, next weekend with a nine-game winning streak. After losing their last four regular-season games, and seven of nine, they had to win five games in five days in the ACC Tournament, including a win over Duke in the quarterfinal round, just to get into the 68-team NCAA field. Now they will play Zach Edey and Purdue in the first national semifinal game, before defending champion UConn takes on Alabama.

Fourth-seeded Duke (27-9), which ousted top seed Houston in the Sweet 16 two nights earlier, missed out on its second Final Four in three seasons.

Soon after Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts was called for a technical foul with 8 minutes left, his team had a double-digit lead and was well on its way to becoming the seventh double-digit seed to make the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

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