WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue basketball ended the 2021-22 season as one of the many obstacles that Saint Peter's managed to overcome during a Cinderella run through last year's NCAA Tournament.
After victories over Yale and Texas in the opening rounds of the tournament, the Boilermakers fell to the Peacocks 67-64 in the Sweet 16.
Now, coach Matt Painter and his Purdue team regroup as a new squad ahead of the upcoming year of college basketball. But in Joe Lunardi's latest NCAA Tournament projections, the Boilermakers will be taking a step back for the 2022-23 season.
The ESPN bracketologist projects Purdue as a No. 8 seed in the East Region, matching up with No. 9-seeded USC in the first round. A win for the Boilermakers would likely set up a game against No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Round of 32.
Purdue is one of seven teams Lundari projects to make the field of 68. He has Indiana as a No. 4 seed after earning an automatic bid out of the Big Ten, Illinois is listed as a No. 6 seed, Michigan is a No. 7 seed, Michigan State is also a No. 8 seed, while Iowa and Ohio State are both listed as No. 10 seeds.
Last season, the Big Ten had nine teams in the NCAA Tournament, the most of any conference.
The Boilermakers have lost several key contributors this offseason, most notably star guard Jaden Ivey. After his sophomore season with the program, Ivey took his talents to the professional level and was the No. 5 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
Following their senior seasons at Purdue, Trevion Williams and Sasha Stefanovic both elected to pursue professional opportunities as well. Eric Hunter Jr. was another player that entered his name in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he retained his college eligibility. Hunter eventually left for Butler after entering the transfer portal.
The team brought in four freshmen in its 2022 recruiting class, including a pair of four-star recruits in Fletcher Loyer and Camden Heide. Utah transfer guard David Jenkins Jr. also joined the program to provide a boost to the backcourt.
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