Zach Edey’s career day powers Purdue past Tennessee, into Final Four

DETROIT — Zach Edey dominated inside with a career-high 40 points and 16 rebounds and Purdue advanced to the Final Four for the first time in 44 years with a 72-66 victory over Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region final on Sunday afternoon.Edey shot 13-for-21 from the field and 14-for-22 from the foul line to ensure the top-seeded Boilermakers (33-4) would make their first Final Four appearance since 1980. Foster Loyer had 14 points and Braden Smith supplied nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists.Purdue overcame a 37-point performance from Dalton Knecht. The No. 2 seed Volunteers (27-9) have never reached the Final Four in 26 tournament appearances.Each team had a big run in the opening half as Purdue emerged with a 36-34 lead.Knecht hit a 3-pointer to give Tennessee a 17-12 lead. The Vols then went scoreless for more than five minutes as the Boilermakers moved ahead by two.Tennessee then went on a 15-2 run, capped by two Knecht 3-pointers, to take a 32-21 lead. Purdue finished the half on a 15-2 run of its own with Edey and Loyer combining for all of those Boilermakers points.Loyer made a 3-pointer off Edey’s kickout with 16:42 remaining to give Purdue a 44-40 edge. After the Boilermakers nudged the lead to six, Tennessee scored the next five points.Loyer answered with a jumper. Edey then extended the lead to 54-46 with two layups and a free throw. The Vols responded with a 7-0 run that included two layups by Knecht sandwiching Jordan Gainey’s 3-pointer.

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