No. 2 in East, Purdue earns highest NCAA Tournament seed in 20 years

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WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - FEBRUARY 18: Carsen Edwards #3 of the Purdue Boilermakers and Jamari Wheeler #5 of the Penn State Nittany Lions battle for the loose ball at Mackey Arena on February 18, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Little to no drama at Mackey Arena, the Boilermakers knew they’d be dancing in March, figured they’d be a high seed, and now for the fourth year in a row, they’re in the NCAA Tournament.

“Being able to say, ‘This is my fourth year in college, and I’ve been all four years’, not a lot of people get to say that,” explained senior Vincent Edwards. “It’s good with this group of guys, and we’re fortunate to be in it.”

“It means a lot,” added fellow senior P.J. Thompson on the accomplishment. “It shows we’ve been doing things the right way since we’ve been here. We’ve improved each and every year.”

“Our seed’s kept improving over the last three years,” continued head coach Matt Painter. “Two’s the highest seed we’ve had. But you still have to go out there and play.”

As the 2-seed in the East region, Purdue will certainly be favored to move on past the first weekend of the tournament and perhaps even further than that.

“I think that’s part of our experience, especially on our seniors, to make sure everybody’s calm, cool, and not looking ahead,” said senior Dakota Mathias. “If you don’t bring it, and you’re overlooking somebody, they’re gonna beat you.”

“Obviously these seniors have been through this before,” said Painter. “You understand you always gotta be excited about playing and understand that everyone earns their way into the tournament.”

Purdue will face the 15-seed Cal State Fullerton, champions of the Big West Conference, in Detroit Friday at 12:40 p.m.

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