INDIANAPOLIS — To be, or to not be? For an underdog named Javion Hamlet and his group of scrapping North Texas teammates, that was a simple query.
Hamlet scored 24 factors and Thomas Bell had 16, together with some game-changing protection in time beyond regulation, to elevate the Thirteenth-seeded Imply Inexperienced to a 78-69 win over No. 4 Purdue on Friday within the NCAA Match.
It marked the second teen-powered upset of the Massive Ten on the opening day of the NCAA Match — this one coming hours after No. 15 Oral Roberts knocked out Ohio State.
What an important prize for Hamlet and Bell, a pair of seniors who led the Imply Inexperienced (18-9) to a regular-season Convention USA title final 12 months however missed an opportunity on the match when the season was canceled by COVID-19.
They made certain issues saved going this time.
Bell opened time beyond regulation with a 3, then altered two Purdue pictures beneath to assist the Imply Inexperienced flip the additional session into amusing. North Texas scored the primary 11 factors.
Hamlet did most of his injury throughout a pair of chic 8-0 private runs within the second half, every of which stopped the Purdue (17-10) momentum in its tracks. The second was a twisting, spinning, dribbling show of mastery within the paint. It gave North Texas a nine-point lead with 7:45 left.
The Boilermakers scratched again and tied it at 61 on Trevion Williams’ putback with 21 seconds left.
However time beyond regulation was no contest, and when it ended, Hamlet tossed the ball into the sparsely crammed stands at Lucas Oil Stadium, raised his arms above his head and exited, stage proper, to the locker room.
This marked the primary match win within the historical past of North Texas, the group as soon as often known as the Eagles, that formally adopted “Imply Inexperienced” as its nickname in 2000. The moniker first grew to become a factor when a fired-up cheerleader received inventive at a soccer recreation within the late-’60s; it was then introduced extra into the fold when Hayden Fry, the folksy ballcoach who went on to higher fame at Iowa, got here to the campus in Denton just a few years later.
However there was no greater title on this evening than Hamlet.
He made all eight of his free throws and likewise had 11 rebounds and 5 assists. His 8-footer with 2:24 left in OT made it a seven-point recreation and turned the top right into a free-throw-shooting contest.
Which North Texas received, too.
DOING IT FOR MOM
Freshman Jaden Ivey nearly single-handedly saved Purdue within the recreation. He completed with a career-high 26 factors whereas his mother, Notre Dame girls’s coach Niele Ivey, watched from the stands. Ivey’s group was on the bubble however Notre Dame didn’t make the match in Texas.
Purdue was the third Massive Ten group out of the nation-leading 9 it positioned within the match to exit earlier than the weekend. Michigan State misplaced to UCLA in a play-in recreation.
North Texas strikes on to play Friday evening’s winner between Winthrop and Villanova.