WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Earning its highest seed in almost 25 years, the Purdue men’s basketball team will face 15th-seeded Cal State-Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday. The Boilermakers earned the No. 2 seed in the East region.
Tip will be at 12:40 p.m. ET, on Friday from the sparkling Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The contest will be aired by TruTV with Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce on the call.
Purdue’s No. 2 seed is its highest since earning a No. 2 seed in the 1998 tournament. It is Purdue’s 30th NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th top-four seed.
Purdue is one of eight teams nationally to have a top-five seed in each of the last three years.
FIRST ROUND QUICK FACTS
TEAMS:  Purdue (28-6) vs.  Cal State Fullerton (20-11)
LOCATION: Purdue (West Lafayette, Indiana); Cal State Fullerton (Fullerton, California)
ENROLLMENT: Purdue (41,573); Cal State Fullerton (40,235)
FOUNDED: Purdue (1869); Cal State Fullerton (1957)
CONFERENCE: Purdue (Big Ten); Cal State Fullerton (Big West)
HEAD COACH: Purdue (Matt Painter; Purdue ’94); Dedrique Taylor (UC Davis ’97)
NCAA APPEARANCES: Purdue (30th); Cal State Fullerton (3rd)
LEADING SCORER: Purdue (Carsen Edwards, 18.5); Cal State Fullerton (Kyle Allman, 19.4)
Purdue enters the tournament with a 28-6 overall record after finishing Big Ten play in a second-place tie with a 15-3 mark. The Boilermakers have had a whirlwind season, but have been ranked in the nation’s top 10 in each of the last 10 weeks. After starting the year 4-2, Purdue defeated then-No. 2-ranked Arizona 89-64 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, to kick off the nation’s longest winning streak of the season at 19 games.
The Boilermakers then lost three straight games by a total of eight points, before running off five straight wins entering the Big Ten Tournament finals. Purdue reached its second Big Ten Tournament finals in three years but fell to a surging Michigan squad to end the year with a 28-6 record.
Purdue is led by four seniors and a sophomore which combine to average 66.5 points per game among them. Sophomore Carsen Edwards, a finalist for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, leads Purdue in scoring at 18.5 points per game, Isaac Haas averages 14.9 points per game, Vincent Edwards leads the team in rebounding (7.3 RPG) and contributes 14.5 points per game and Dakota Mathias chips in 12.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
Cal State Fullerton, winners of the Big West Tournament as the No. 4 seed, enters NCAA Tournament play with a 20-11 overall mark and winners of eight of its last 10 games. The Titans are making their third NCAA Tournament in school history (1978, 2008, 2018), owning a 2-2 record in their two previous appearances.
The Titans are paced by 6-foot, 3-inch guard Kyle Allman with a 19.4 scoring average, shooting 43.0 percent from long distance. Khalil Ahmad averages 15.3 points per game and Jackson Rowe chips in at 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Titans shoot 47.0 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from long distance, while averaging 73.2 points per game.
Purdue is 6-3 all-time against the Big West Conference, having not faced a school from the league since an 89-64 win over Cal State Northridge on Nov. 13, 2009.