Sports

Purdue closes book on N.C. State’s Cinderella story, advances to national championship

The clock struck midnight on N.C. State’s Cinderella story Saturday night, and Purdue put away the Wolfpack in a men’s Final Four matchup, 63-50.

Purdue will play in the national championship game for the first time since 1969.

The Boilermakers only had a six-point lead over the Wolfpack at the half. But they were able to maintain that lead and thwart any chance of an N.C. State comeback. Purdue kept N.C. State’s scoring in check, limiting the Wolfpack to two players in double figures.

Zach Edey makes a move

Purdue center Zach Edey, right, backs down N.C. State forward Ben Middlebrooks during the second half of an NCAA Final Four game Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

“This is the one we’ve been talking about all year. This is the one I’ve been talking about for four years now,” Purdue star Zach Edey told Tracy Wolfson of CBS. “To be able to play in that and accept that challenge next game. Whoever comes out of that next game is gonna be a great team, but we’re gonna lock in on our game plan and execute.”

Edey finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. It was the fifth double-double of the postseason.

Fletcher Loyer celebrates

Purdue guard Fletcher Loyer (2) celebrates during the second half of a Final Four game against N.C. State Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

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Lance Jones scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds. Fletcher Loyer added 11 points. Purdue shot 40% from the floor.

D.J. Horne led N.C. State with 20 points and six rebounds. Jayden Taylor came off of the bench and scored 11 points. D.J. Burns, who was the talk of the tournament, was held to just eight points.

N.C. State shot 36.8% from the field and was outrebounded 41-22.

Lance Jones chases down the ball

North Carolina State guard Casey Morsell (14) and Purdue guard Lance Jones (55) chase a loose ball during the second half of a Final Four game Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Purdue, a No. 1 seed in the tournament, awaits the defending national champions, UConn.

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