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Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

For the first time since 2012, the Purdue men's basketball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament.

The Boilermakers are the #9 seed in the Midwest Region. They will play #8 Cincinnati Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The winner will likely face the University of Kentucky Saturday. The #1 seed, undefeated Wildcats will take on the winner of a play-in game between Manhattan and Hampton Thursday.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Knowing the importance of winning its final regular season game against Illinois Sunday, Purdue's men's basketball team played perhaps its worst opening 15 minutes of any game this year.

With the Illini's best player, Rayvonte Rice, scoring seemingly at will against the man-to-man defense played by Dakota Mathias, the visitors built a 13-point lead and held the Boilermakers to just ten points through the first 15 minutes.

But changes made in the last five minutes of the half turned the game around.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Little seemed to worry Purdue coach Matt Painter Thursday.

He didn't look bothered that starting forward Vince Edwards was on the bench in street clothes nursing concussion-like symptoms.

Nor did he appear to fret when, just six minutes into the foul-fest that was Thursday's game, starting center A.J. Hammons picked up his second personal and headed back to the bench.

And, as it turned out, Painter had little to fret over in a 92-85 win against the Big Ten Conference's worst team -- except perhaps those fouls and the sloppiness they wrought.

English106 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/english106/

The Purdue Women’s basketball team jumped out to a seven-point lead twice today against Penn State at Mackey Arena.

But continued struggles with free throws and layups let the Lady Lions back into the game both times, with Penn State eventually winning 54-50.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Boilermakers and the first road win of the season for Penn State.

Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp says she liked her team’s defensive effort today, but says the offensive effort was lacking.

Purdue Athletics

We know about college athletes because of their performance in the athletic arena. But what’s the life of a Division I athlete like when they’re not in competition?

This week on WBAA’s Off The Field With Morgan Burke, we ask what sorts of accommodations are made for athletes – both in their classes and with their coaches. Can athletes participate in the college experience as fully as most students?

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