LOUISVILLE, KY. – Purdue coach Matt Painter described the boxscore as “odd.”
That’s probably the best way to describe the uneven shooting performance by Purdue and Tennessee in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
Both teams shot well from three-point range and horribly from the free-throw line.
The Boilermakers handled their weird shooting performance slightly better than the Vols in winning 99-94 at KFC Yum! Center.
Purdue advances to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2000. The Boilermakers got there by avoiding a second-half rally by the Vols, who trailed by 18 points before taking a lead in the final seconds of regulation.
The boxscore was indeed odd. Purdue shot 15-for-31 on three-pointers (48.4 percent) and only 16-for-33 from the foul line (48.5 percent).
Similar story for the Vols. They shot 12-for-24 from three-point range and 14-for-28 from the foul line. Both 50 percent.
“Normally, you get people that can make that many threes are normally going to make their free throws,” Painter said. “Both teams struggled in that area.”
The Boilermakers (26-9) will play top-seeded Virginia on Saturday in the regional final for their first trip to the Final Four since 1980.
Purdue is in a regional final for the fifth time, but its first with Painter, who had gotten the team to the round of 16 four times previously.