Although they aren’t often the first team you think of when you think about Big Ten basketball, the Purdue Boilermakers have the record for most Big Ten Championships with 22. A lot of the Boilermakers success came in the pre-tournament era, like in 1932 when Purdue won the Helms Championship. However, Purdue has had their share of success in the tournament era and have made several deep NCAA Tournament runs.
Purdue’s first NCAA Tournament appearance came in 1969 and it was a successful appearance. The Boilermakers made it to the Final Four and destroyed the North Carolina Tar Heels by a score of 92-65 to make it to the championship game where they played the UCLA Bruins and lost by a score of 92-72. Purdue made another Final Four appearance in 1980 as a #6 seed by pulling off upsets against St. John’s, Indiana, and Duke. Purdue lost to UCLA in the semifinals, but they beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 3rd place game.
Purdue Boilermakers Recent NCAA Tourament History
Purdue’s last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2012 after the Boilermakers finished the regular season with a 22-12 record with their signature win coming on the road against the #11 Michigan Wolverines. The Boilermakers received an at-large NCAA Tournament bid as the #10 seed in the Midwest Region. Purdue played the #7 seed St. Mary’s Gaels in their first game of the NCAA Tournament and won 72-69. In their next game, the Boilermakers lost by a score of 63-60 to the #2 seed Kansas Jayhawks who would eventually be the runners-up in the NCAA Tournament.