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Zach Edey’s 40 points help Purdue take down Tennessee to reach Final Four


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The top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers are heading to the Final Four as Zach Edey’s 40 points helped his squad take down No. 2 Tennessee on Sunday afternoon, 72-66. 

The stars for each team were on full display in this Elite Eight contest as Edey and the Volunteers’ Dalton Knecht traded buckets throughout the game. 

But while Knecht had 37 points on 14-of-31 shooting, including 6 of 12 from three-point territory, Edey’s 40 points on 12-of-21 shooting and 14 of 22 from the free throw line, outlasted him.

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Zach Edey shoots

Purdue’s Zach Edey, right, shoots the ball against Tennessee’s Jonas Aidoo during the second half of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 31, 2024, in Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Edey’s free throw with 4:42 left in the game made it 59-58, and he continued to get clutch buckets from there, including two more free throws to put the Boilermakers up three.

But Knecht was trying his hardest to retake the lead with free throws of his own.

After an Edey dunk made it 63-60, Purdue’s Lance Jones, who had just seven points in the game, hit his only three-pointer of the game with 2:43 left to make it a six-point game.

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It was the bucket Purdue needed to pull away from Tennessee, and they held it as the clock reached zero. 

Looking at the stat sheet, Edey also had a double-double, as he usually does, with 16 rebounds. He had one steal, one assist and one block as well. 

Tennessee players high five

Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James, left, and Dalton Knecht celebrate a basket against Purdue during the second half of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 31, 2024, in Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Purdue also saw Fletcher Loyer score 14 points with four assists and three rebounds. 

While Knecht’s 31 shots made up half of Tennessee’s attempts, the rest of the Volunteers struggled from the field. Zakai Zeigler was just 3-for-12 for nine points with eight assists and four rebounds. 

As a team, Tennessee shot 38.7% while Purdue was 45.3% accurate from the field. 

After last season’s shocker in the first round against Farleigh Dickinson University, who defeated the No. 1-seeded Boilermakers as a No. 16 seed, Purdue has taken down their opponents forcefully with double-digit victories in the three prior to this matchup. 

Zach Edey shot

Purdue’s Zach Edey shoots against Tennessee during the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 31, 2024, in Detroit. (Jay LaPrete/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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Now, Purdue awaits the winner of No. 4 Duke and No. 11 NC State to find out who will be their Final Four opponent.

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