Dienhart: Purdue, sans Isaac Haas, tops Butler to make Sweet 16

Dienhart: Purdue, sans Isaac Haas, tops Butler to make Sweet 16

Without Isaac Haas, Purdue played fine for the most part.

The Boilermakers maintained the calm head in the deciding moment last in the match to see off the resilient Bulldogs who almost made an upset. "Someone is going to cook dinner and that type of thing", said James.

The biggest and strongest elbow on Purdue's roster sat buried in a bundle of metal and tape Sunday afternoon, but the No. 2-seeded Boilermakers managed to hold a risky Butler team an arm's length away anyway. The freshman played a career-high 29 minutes after stepping in for Isaac Haas, whose college basketball career ended due to an elbow fracture sustained in the first-round win over Cal-State Fullerton on March 16. He scored nine points with 10 rebounds Friday before suffering the injury midway through the second half while battling for a rebound.

Haas may be able to work his way back on the court at some point if the Boilermakers continue to advance.

"Whether that goes in or not", Painter said, "you know, sometimes guys will hang their head".

The shot by Mathias made it 76-71.

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"I felt the burden of turning that ball over at the end knowing that I had to get a shot up or get a shot for someone else". Give Butler a lot of credit. "We're excited to come out with a win".

"We got the pro mentality here, when you're number's called you gotta be ready to produce", said guard P.J. Thompson, who scored 14 points. They have one of the best duos in the country in Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin that can go out and practically win games on their own.

"No, he's not going to", Purdue coach Matt Painter responded when asked about Haas possibly playing. It's the first time the Boilermakers have started those five players together this season. "I just told him, 'This is for you'". It's one of two games Sunday that pit two teams from the same state; the second round will conclude at night with West Virginia taking on Marshall.

The Mountain State showdown more than 2,000 miles from home was a one-sided celebration for the fifth-seeded Mountaineers.

Butler tested the limits of Purdue's ability to stave off an upset in the final minutes, but a Dakota Mathias 3-pointer in the final 15 seconds provided just enough breathing room. Just ask Virginia, which lost De'Andre Hunter to a broken wrist and then became the first No. 1 seed in the history of the men's NCAA Tournament to lose to a No. 16.

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