NCAA Bracket 2012: How Purdue Basketball Got To March Madness

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 08: Purdue Pete, mascot for the Purdue Boilermakers performs against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their first round game of 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 8, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Purdue Boilermakers had a 2011-12 season that didn't quite live up to their expectations. It wasn't pretty at times, but here is how they made it to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

After compiling their fifth straight 20-win season in 2010-11, the Purdue Boilermakers came into 2011-12 looking to continue their dominance in the Big Ten. In the end, Purdue was able to extend their 20-win streak to six years, but it wasn't easy.

The Boilermakers got hot early, winning 12 of their first 15 regular season games. They faltered a bit in January and February, suffering losses to Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio State -- all ranked in the top 25 -- in a stretch of five games. They dropped a second game to Indiana in their regular season finale. In spite of all of this, they finished 21-11 overall, going 10-8 in the Big Ten.

The Boilermakers entered the 2012 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6 seed. They dispatched the No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers in the opening round, 79-61, to advance to the quarterfinals, where they fell to the third-seeded Ohio St. Buckeyes, 88-71. Given how tough the Big Ten has been this year, though, the selection committee didn't hold it against Purdue, including them in the field of 68. They earned the No. 10 seed and will face No. 7 St. Mary's in the second round.

For more on the Boilermakers, check out Purdue blog Hammer And Rails. Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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