Purdue cruised to a 74-48 win over Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, but the second-seeded Boilermakers’ triumph came with a price. Purdue Coach Matt Painter announced after the game that senior center Isaac Haas will miss the remainder of the tournament with a fractured right elbow. Haas suffered the injury while battling for a rebound midway through the second half; when you’re 7-foot-2, 290 pounds, every fall is a hard fall.
Haas was slow to get up and clearly in pain after suffering the injury, which occurred after a foul by Fullerton’s Dominik Heinzl. Ryan Cline shot Purdue’s ensuing free throws in place of Haas, but the big man would later reenter the game. Haas spent the final minutes of the blowout on the bench with a large ice pack wrapped around his elbow. He told reporters in the locker room that his elbow was “just swollen” and the injury was “no big deal,” but X-rays revealed that he will require surgery.
Haas averaged 14.9 points and 5.6 rebounds during the regular season and had nine points and 10 rebounds in Friday’s win. He entered the tournament as the Boilermakers’ second-leading scorer and one of four Purdue players averaging double figures. Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards paced Purdue with 15 points apiece against the Titans.
After going 28-6 during the regular season to earn their highest seed in the tournament since 1998, the Boilermakers’ Final Four hopes took a hit with Friday’s news. The Westgate sportsbook bumped Purdue’s odds of winning the title from 12-to-1 to 25-to-1. Purdue will play 10th-seeded Butler in the second round on Sunday.
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