So much for the theory that the absence of Kenneth Lowe was holding Purdue back. They fell to Northwestern at home 40-39 in Lowe’s return. It was a game that Purdue just couldn’t lose. Sure, they have had some bad luck this year – they’re 2-5 in games that went to overtime or were decided by 3 points or less. But they also had the great fortune of meeting Duke in Alaska, before Duke put it together. That win was the main reason they were in the dance discussion at this point, but no longer.

Purdue fans will have to live vicariously through alum Matt Painter, who looks headed to the tournament as head coach of Southern Illinois.