No. 16 Purdue celebrated the perfect party on Senior Night in West Lafayette, Ind.
Players danced around in black-and-gold confetti as the fans sung "We Are the Champions." They climbed ladders and cut down nets. And they did it all by dethroning the defending Big Ten champs.
Dakota Mathis scored 17 points in the first half, Caleb Swanigan matched that total in the second and the Boilermakers pulled away from foul-prone Indiana for an 86-75 victory Tuesday night to clinch a share of the conference crown and the top seed in next week's conference tournament.
"Being able to knock off your rival at your home court for a Big Ten title is unbelievable," Vince Edwards said after scoring 15 points. "It's been awhile since they came here so we knew Mackey would be special tonight."
The game went almost exactly according to Purdue's script.
After getting the outside help it needed over the past few weeks, the Boilermakers (24-6, 13-4) won for the seventh time in eight games and broke a tie with the dreaded Hoosiers to claim a record-breaking 23rd conference crown.
Swanigan finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for his 24th double-double of the season in what could have been his final home game. The sophomore dominated the middle after Indiana's top two centers, Thomas Bryant and De'Ron Davis, were both called for their third foul less than 4 minutes into the second half.
Mathias scored 13 points during a crucial 19-6 first-half run that erased Indiana's only lead of the game and turned a 17-14 deficit into a 33-23 lead. Mathias finished with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Now the Boilermakers can contemplate bigger plans.
A road win Saturday would give them the league's outright championship. Three wins next week in Washington would give them the Big Ten Tourney title. And then they'll be looking to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.
"I want to enjoy it, but it's impossible to enjoy it," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "You're constantly thinking about what can I do for our program, what can I do for our team and our players to get ready for that next game."
For Indiana (16-14, 6-11), it was another frustrating night.
James Blackmon Jr. led the Hoosiers with 16 points. Josh Newkirk and Devonte Green each had 13.
But the Hoosiers couldn't capitalize on their chances.
After cutting a 15-point first-half lead to four early in the second half, Purdue quickly rebuilt a 10-point lead. And after closing to 57-51 with 10:07 to go, Purdue answered with seven straight and never let Indiana seriously challenged again.
"We're a different team than what we were last year," coach Tom Crean said. "Caleb is hard to guard. It's tough."
No. 9 Kentucky 73, Vanderbilt 63
Malik Monk scored 20 points in the second half, including 10 in the final 3:40, as No. 9 Kentucky rallied from a 13-point deficit and held off Vanderbilt 73-67 on Tuesday night in Lexington, Ky., to clinch a share of the Southeastern Conference regular season title.
After trailing by as many as 19 points in the first half, the Wildcats, who overcame the largest deficit under John Calipari, were still down 47-34 with 13:51 remaining. They clamped down defensively and gave their shooters chances to contribute and earn a hard-fought victory. Monk thrived the most, making a go-ahead 3 with 3:40 left before adding another long-range shot with 49 seconds left for 69-62 lead.
The freshman guard then made four free throws in the final 21 seconds to finish with 27 points for Kentucky (25-5, 15-2). Bam Adebayo added 16 points and De'Aaron Fox had 13 after a one-game absence with a knee injury.
Luke Kornet had 21 points and Joe Toye added 15 for Vanderbilt (16-14, 9-8), which made 11 3-pointers but had its four-game winning streak stopped.
No. 17 Duke 75, No. 15 Florida State 70
One of Duke's shortest players kept finding ways to score on No. 15 Florida State's long, tall defenders.
Freshman guard Frank Jackson — all 6-foot-3 of him — drove the lane, shot 3-pointers over the Seminoles' outstretched fingertips and gave the 17th-ranked Blue Devils all the cushion they needed.
Jackson scored a season-best 22 points and Duke beat Florida State 75-70 on Tuesday night in Durham, N.C.
"Change of pace, a lot of shot fakes, floaters," Jackson said. "They really were athletic, just a big team. I think the first time we played them, we kind of didn't know what to expect. This time around, we were able to study, we progressively got better as the season went along."
Amile Jefferson, playing in his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Luke Kennard finished with 17 points for the Blue Devils (23-7, 11-6 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Jayson Tatum added 15 points for Duke, which avenged a 16-point loss last month in Tallahassee, held Florida State 14 points below its scoring average and snapped a two-game losing streak that cost the Blue Devils a top-10 ranking but, according to Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, does not qualify as a slump.
"We're playing our butts off. ... We're not slumping," Krzyzewski said. "Our guys are playing great. They're fighting like crazy. But sometimes, you don't make that one-possession play, and our league is so unforgiving if you don't make that play."
Dwayne Bacon scored 19 points and Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 15 for the Seminoles (23-7, 11-6), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
Florida State pulled to 71-63 on Bacon's free throw with 2:23 to play before Tatum countered with a jumper to put Duke up by 10 points.
Jackson then rebounded Jonathan Isaac's missed 3 and Duke went to work on the clock, with Tatum grabbing a key rebound of his own miss to help the Blue Devils keep the ball away from the Seminoles until there were about 50 seconds remaining.
Jackson helped Duke build a 19-point lead by scoring 13 points in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half, taking the game over with three 3s in that span. That included a heat-checker over the 6-10 Isaac that made it 49-30 with about 15 1/2 minutes left.
"He was kind of playing off a little bit," Jackson said. "I kind of hesitated, I saw that he was playing off and I just knocked down the shot."
No. 24 Iowa State 86, Oklahoma State 83
Senior Matt Thomas scored 25 points and No. 24 Iowa State held off a furious challenge from Oklahoma State on Tuesday night in Ames, winning 86-83 to close out its home schedule with its sixth straight win.
Monte Morris added 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Cyclones (20-9, 12-5 Big 12), who clinched their sixth consecutive 20-win season and swept the Cowboys for the fourth straight year.
Evans scored 29 points and Leyton Hammonds had 19 to lead Oklahoma State (20-10, 9-8), which lost for just the second time in 12 games.
Morris forced a turnover under his own basket with 7.7 seconds left and Oklahoma State looking for a game-tying 3 — and Thomas hit an easy layup off Morris' inbounds pass. Oklahoma State's Juwan Evans then hit a 3, but Donovan Jackson hit a free throw and Evans couldn't get a desperation heave off before the buzzer.
Evans made Iowa State sweat it out though. He was fouled from 3-point range with 13.8 seconds to go and the Cowboys down four. Evans hit all three from the line, but Naz Mitrou-Long answered with two free throws to make it 83-80 5 seconds later.
Seniors Deonte Burton and Mitrou-Long had 20 points and 17 points, respectively, for Iowa State. The Cyclones once again overcame a huge disparity on the boards, this time 40-27, by shooting 15 of 31 from 3-point range.
Maryland 79, Rutgers 59
Damonte Dodd scored six points inside in a 17-6 spurt to start the second half and Maryland avoided its first four-game losing streak since the 2004-05 season with a 79-59 victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night in Piscataway, N.J.
Dodd had all nine of his points and six of his seven rebounds in the second half as the Terrapins (23-7, 11-6 Big Ten) won for only the third time in eight games. The skid took Maryland out of the Top 25.
Maryland did not put a scorer into double figures until Ivan Bender (10 points) scored on a layup with 4:07 to play. Melo Trimble led the Terps with 11 points and L.G. Gill had 10.
Mike Williams had 14 points to lead Rutgers (13-17, 2-15), which has lost six in a row and 16 of 18. C.J. Gettys added 12 points and Deshawn Freeman had 11.
Leading 32-28 at the half, Maryland took control after Gettys cut the lead to two points with a basket.
Dodd scored on a layup, Kevin Huerter and Trimble hit 3-pointers and Dodd scored on a follow to make it 42-30. After consecutive baskets by Williams cut the lead to 42-34, Dodd scored on a slam, Huerter hit a jumper and Dion Wiley hit a 3-pointer to make it 49-34 and Rutgers trailed by double figures the rest of the way.
Ohio State 71, Penn State 70
Jae'Sean Tate sank a layup with three seconds left to lift Ohio State to a 71-70 win over Penn State on Tuesday in State College, Pa.
Tate finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, Marc Loving added 14 and Trevor Thompson chipped in 11 for the Buckeyes (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) who won on the road for just the fourth time this season.
Penn State took the lead on a Tony Carr 3-pointer with nine seconds to play but Tate ran the court and found room underneath to hit the winning basket.
Carr finished with 21, Shep Garner notched 20 points and Lamar Stevens added 16 for Penn State (14-16, 6-11), which lost its fourth straight.
The Buckeyes led for more than 25 minutes and were up 40-36 at halftime. They surrendered the lead just under two minutes into the second half on a pair of Stevens free throws. They got it back on an Andre Wesson 3-pointer with 6:39 to play.
Meanwhile, Penn State's offense went cold. The Nittany Lions went without a field goal for 4:29 of the final 5:11 before Carr cut Ohio State's lead to 69-67 with a layup with 42 seconds left.
Providence 73, DePaul 64
Kyron Cartwright and Emmitt Holt scored 14 points apiece and Providence rolled to a 73-64 victory over DePaul on Tuesday night in Providence, R.I., for its fifth straight win.
Providence (19-11, 9-8 Big East) entered the game in a four-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings, and visits St. John's (13-17, 7-10) on Saturday to end its regular season. DePaul (9-21, 2-15) has lost 12 of its last 13 games.
The Friars took the lead for good about six minute in and built a 34-23 halftime advantage. DePaul pulled within seven points before the Friars used a 19-8 run for a 60-42 lead with 6:40 to play. Cartwright scored nine points and Holt chipped in four during the stretch.
Rodney Bullock added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Friars. Jalen Lindsey finished with 12 points.
Brandon Cyrus and Devin Gage each scored 12 points to lead DePaul.
Western Michigan 70, Northern Illinois 56
Tucker Haymond scored 15 points and Western Michigan won its seventh consecutive game with a 70-56 victory over Northern Illinois on Tuesday night in DeKalb, Ill.
The win keeps the Broncos in a first place tie atop the Mid-American Conference West Division with Ball State with one game remaining.
Thomas Wilder finished with 13 points and Reggie Jones added 12 for Western Michigan (14-15, 10-7), which hit nine 3-pointers and dished out 19 assists on its 26 total field goals.
Marin Maric scored 18 points and grabbed 12 boards for Northern Illinois (15-14, 7-9), which was held to just 39 percent shooting and 22.2 percent from 3-point range.
The Huskies cut a 10-point halftime deficit to 41-39 after a Justin Thomas layup with 15:35 left. But the Broncos immediately answered with an 8-0 run to push their lead back to double figures.
Western Michigan kept the Huskies at arm's length the rest of the night, and a Wilder 3 with 1:01 left put them away.
Tribune reporter Shannon Ryan ranks the Big Ten men's basketball teams through the action of Feb. 26, 2017.(Shannon Ryan)
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