It’s not often that a four seed can beat a thirteen-seed and it comes as a surprise. But, that’s what we ran into in Spokane as a Big 10 power knocked off a MAAC school that had become the hottest thing in college basketball since Larry Bird in short shorts. Everyone you knew made a bracket. Only the really handsome, smart, cool kids picked Siena to win, though.
But, just like other fads before them, the Siena Sients became the latest trend to disappear after getting worn by guys from Indiana.
Purdue rode junior big man JaJuan Johnson, who put up 23 points and 15 rebounds, to a victory over the tiny school that thought they could Friday afternoon, ending Siena’s five-game winning streak and setting up a matchup with the winner of the Aggie battle between Texas A&M and Utah State.
But, for the Boilermakers, this was about more than just winning a game. It was about proving a point.
“Hell no. Dude’s overrated,” Johnson shouted after a reporter asked if the team missed injured star Robbie Hummel. “Did you see me out there? Huh? What was my stat line? Huh? Say it, son. Yeah, that’s right. 23 points and 15 boards. Robbie Hummel couldn’t get 15 boards if he, ummm, ok Robbie is better at metaphors. But that's it!”
The opinion wasn’t just limited to Johnson, either. Junior guard E’Twaun Moore echoed Johnson’s sentiment.
“Let me ask you a question,” Johnson barked at a reporter. “Who is Purdue’s leading scorer?”
The reporter started to respond, saying “Rob-“
“WRONG,” Moore yelled, following it with a buzzer sound. “E’Twaun Moore. Six-foot-four. East Chicago, Indiana. Sixteen points per game. Sixteen point six to be exact.”
“You know, we call came in here together,” Moore elaborated. “We all came to the same crappy program and contributed to the same turnaround. Only one of us gets his face on TV, though. And he’s the guy that still downloads musically illegally. Did you know that? He’s a pirate. Yeah, Joe America doesn’t pay for his John Mayer. I still buy the freakin’ CDs out of principle and no one cares about E’Twaun Moore.”
Moore calmed down and answered several more questions about the game and how his team was focused on their next opponent. However, it was obvious that the Boilermakers were foced on one thing only – proving themselves in the absence of Robbie Hummel. And, it appears they’re quite confident that they'll continue to do so.
As sophomore reserve guard Bubba Day said, “Dude, we beat Siena. See - freaking - ena. Even the President picked them to win and everything that guy touches turns to gold. We know we can do anything now.”
The Hummel-less Boilermakers will get their shot to prove it once again on Sunday.