College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, March 5, 2017
The Purdue Boilermakers cemented their claim on the Big Ten regular season title, winning at Northwestern, 69-65. Finishing the regular season with a 14-4 record, the Boilermakers wrapped up two games ahead of Maryland and Wisconsin, at 12-6.
Fueling the Boilermakers was their candidate for national player of the year, Caleb Swanigan, who notched his 25th double-double of the season with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
The 6'9" sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana, was 8-for-15 from the field and hauled down 14 rebounds. Swingian's effort was aided by Vince Edwards' 25 points.
Swanigan and Edwards lead #16 Purdue into the upcoming Big Ten tournament, the winner of which will grab an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, though Purdue is assured to get at least an at-large bid should they not win the conference tourney.
Swanigan averages 18.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, making him one of the more versatile inside players in the collegiate ranks.
A week out from Selection Sunday and there are already a host of teams that have played their way into the Big Dance.
On Saturday, Jacksonville State took down the Ohio Valley conference championship with a 66-55 win over UT-Martin. It's the first OVC title for the Gamecocks and their first NCAA invite since jumping to Division 1 and joining the conference in 2003.
Sunday began with Winthrop ending the dreams of Campbell, taking the Big South conference title with a no-doubter, 76-59 win over the upstart Fighting Camels. Winthrop had gone to the conference championship game in each of the past four seasons, but this is their first win during that span.
Florida Gulf Coast captured the Atlantic Sun conference championship, defeating North Florida, 77-61. The automatic bid is the third for the Eagles in the last six seasons.
The Missouri Valley conference championship went to Wichita State, as the Shockers pounded Illinois State, 71-51. Both teams were 17-1 in conference play, but 21st-ranked Wichita State was clearly the better of the two, racking up a 30-4 record overall.
Princeton, champions of the Ivy League, wrapped up an undefeated, 14-0, conference schedule with a 85-48 win over Dartmouth on Saturday. The perfect confernce mark was the sixth in Princeton's rich basketball history, but the kicker is that the Tigers, despite winning the conference title by four games, will have to play on in the first ever Ivy League Tournament. The league has implemented a four-team playoff, with the top seed playing #4 and #2 playing #3. All games will be played at the Palestra in Philadelphia, home to Princeton's first opponent, the Penn Quakers.
Semi-final games are on Saturday, March 11, with the finals on Sunday, March 12.