HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Carsen Edwards had a career night, scoring 42 points as Purdue knocked reigning national champion Villanova out of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night in an 87-61 rout.
Matt Haarms added 18 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded Boilermakers (25-9), who advanced to their third straight Sweet 16.
Eric Paschall had 19 for Villanova (26-10), which saw its quest for a third national title in the last four seasons end during the tournament’s first weekend. Fellow senior Phil Booth scored 15 points, putting him over 1,500 for his career.
Edwards has battled a sore back and had been in a recent shooting slump, making just 7 of 23 shots from the field in Purdue’s first-round win over Old Dominion. He found the bottom of the net early and often against ‘Nova, making 12 of his 21 shots, including nine of 16 from behind the arc.
Purdue shot 54 percent while holding Villanova to just 20 baskets on 58 shots (34 percent).
Purdue jumped out early, building a 13-point lead thanks to Edwards’ outside shooting and Haarms’ work down low.
The 7-foot-3 Dutchman towered over the shorter Wildcats, who didn’t start anyone over 6-8. He had Purdue’s first 4 points on a dunk and a put-back. Edwards hit five of his nine first-half shots, all of which came from 3-point range.
Purdue had nine 3-point baskets in the first half and a dunk by Haarms put the Boilermakers up 43-24 at intermission.
Another dunk from the Dutchman extended the lead to 35 in the second half. Villanova chipped away but the sixth seeded Big East champions did not have weapons to make it a game.
Villanova: The Wildcats continued a five-year pattern that has seen them lose in the second round, win a national title, lose in the second round and win another national title. The Wildcats are 15-3 in NCAA Tournament games over that stretch.
Purdue: The win gives the Boilermakers 25 victories for the fourth straight season. Purdue had only done that once before, between 2008 and 2011.
The Boilermakers will face the winner of Sunday’s game between Iowa and Tennessee.
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