Purdue Boilermakers Eight Near Escapes: Elite Eight Destiny?

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Purdue Boilermakers Eight Near Escapes: Elite Eight Destiny?

No one expected the Purdue Boilermakers to be in this position. Absolutely no one.

Think about it: a team with no Robbie Hummel, no frontcourt size, and no consistent offense is one magical weekend away from a home state Final Four? Where's the punch line?

And while the odds appear stacked against Matt Painter's underdog team in Friday's regional semifinal matchup with top seeded Duke, the Boilermakers seem to like it that way.

In fact, as the second half of the 2009-10 season has rolled on, Purdue has come up with so many improbable nail-biter wins that the Cardiac Kids...err....Boilers are closing in on "team of destiny" status (while fans' pulse rates may never be the same again).

Which begs the question: does a string of "how did they pull that off?" victories mean the Old Gold and Black are simply lucky? Or are the frantic finishes and dramatic moments that have marked the 09-10 campaign a clue that this magical season is destined to end up at the Final Four (the goal that has so long eluded an otherwise proud Purdue program)?

The answer will play out over the next day or three. But in the meantime, with an Elite Eight berth on the line in Houston, here is a look back (in chronological order) at the eight most improbable Purdue victories of 2010.

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