After crushing defeat to Virginia, Boilermakers look big picture

Grady Eifert and Ryan Cline reflect in the locker room after Purdue's loss to Virginia.
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The sun came up the next day for the Purdue Boilermakers, and coach Matt Painter kept his eye on the big picture.

After a heartbreaking loss to Virginia in the Elite Eight, one way of looking at it was that the Boilermakers were lucky to be there. That’s the approach that Painter took, at least.

“It’s part of competition,” Painter said Friday, after a presentation at the coaches’ conference that runs in conjunction with the Final Four. “The thing you have to keep in mind about our loss is that we were very fortunate to be in the game in the first place.”

In the Sweet 16 game against Tennessee, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards got fouled while taking a 3-pointer with the clock running down. He made two of the three free throws to get the game into overtime, and from there, Purdue won.

Against Virginia, Cavs forward Mamadi Diakite made a buzzer beater to send the game into overtime, but that time, the Boilermakers weren’t able to overcome.

“Our guys are crushed,” Painter said. “It’s something that will stick with us forever, but you’ve got to move on.”