Boilers brace for ‘really different’ Big Ten Tournament

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COLUMBUS, OHIO – FEBRUARY 15: Purdue Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter reacts after an Ohio State Buckeyes basket during the first half of their game at Value City Arena on February 15, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – When Purdue takes the court Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament, they’ll do so in a unique atmosphere to major college athletics, after the league announced significant limitations to spectators allowed inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“It’ll be weird,” said sophomore Eric Hunter. “A couple of (us) were talking about it being like AAU and high school.”

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Weird, but not entirely foreign.

"We played a secret scrimmage earlier in the year," said junior Matt Haarms. "That was actually at the Pacers' practice facility."

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That scrimmage was against Providence. The Boilers have also scrimmaged Dayton and West Virginia in recent years.

This season, Purdue likely needs a few wins in this Big Ten Tournament in order to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"We're in a situation in which we have to win at least three games or win the conference tournament to get in, in my opinion" said coach Matt Painter.

The Boilers tip off their Big Ten Tournament Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against No. 19 Ohio State.

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