19 Back to the Drawing Board

Sunday was D-Day. Draw Day. Purdue had finished 27-3 and had been ranked second in the country by the wire services, and first by Sports Illustrated, prior to the loss at Ohio State. Only top-ranked Temple had fewer losses. Surely that would be good enough for a No. 1 seed.

Keady and his assistants, however, had been conditioned to expect strange things when the NCAA Selection Committee announced the tournament pairings. In 1984, fresh off its Big Ten co-championship, Purdue was seeded third, given a bye, and sent to play in a regional at Memphis State. It wound up playing none other than Memphis State, the sixth seed, which had won its first-round game. The Tigers were an unusually difficult opponent to face so early in the tournament; they were 25-6, and featured future NBA players Keith Lee and William Bedford in their lineup. With their homecourt advantage, they dominated Purdue 66-48.