Things are getting a bit chippy in the Midwest region matchup between No. 8 seed Cincinnati and No. 9 seed Purdue.
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Early in the second half, Purdue 7-footer A.J. Hammons was facing a double-team down low from Cincinnati forwards Octavius Ellis and Gary Clark, so he kicked the ball out to teammate Vince Edwards. As Edwards rose up for a shot, the 6-foot-10, 226-pound Ellis tried to establish a box-out on the 261-pound Hammons, but only after throwing an elbow toward Hammons’ neck.
That cheap shot resulted in a flagrant foul and an ejection for Ellis, the tallest player on Cincy’s roster. Ellis is also the team’s leading scorer and rebounder and already had scored seven points in the game at that point.
Defending Purdue, who also have mammoth 7-foot-2, 297-pound freshman Isaac Haas on the roster, in the paint is a huge challenge for opponents, but Ellis can’t lose his cool in that situation.
Fortunately for Ellis, his teammates were able to survive without him. Troy Caupain hit a clutch layup as time expired to force overtime and the Bearcats were able to outlast the Boilermakers in the extra frame to pull out a 66-65 win.
Next on the schedule for the Bearcats is likely a matchup with Kentucky, the tournament's top seed.
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