I want to blog this because, well, the Maui Invitational 100% lived up to the hype (with 2 games left). It was the single best field we've ever seen in one of these events. You had 5 top-11 teams in the country mixed in with UCLA, Syracuse and Chaminade. Just loaded and the little nod to the tournament with Chaminade. But this is strictly about what happened in the title game.
Purdue beat Marquette, two of the 3 best teams in the country so far this season. Throw UConn in there and I think that's the top-3 through the first few weeks. If you really want to argue Arizona, I'll listen, but those are the 3 for me right now. Let me be more specific, this is about Purdue, who is the best team in the country again. I don't care what happened to FDU or the Matt Painter/Purdue jokes. Those are fair, but you can only look at this team vs this team, not the past.
This team is better than last year's team. Lance Jones was a massive transfer for them to land. Oh, this little shot?
This was an important game for me and how I viewed Purdue because of what happened to FDU though. Marquette is a better version of FDU. They tried to take away Edey, fly around and force Purdue to speed up and hit shots. They went 10-for-21 from 3 and that's a little misleading because of how hot they were in the first half. Smith and Loyer seemed to take that jump and the notion of athletic guards destroying them didn't come true here.
But Purdue just went through Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette. 3 wildly different paces and style of play. They won all of them and looked the part in all of them.
And listen, Marquette is awesome. They are easily one of the most fun, if not the most fun teams in the country. They just fly around and Tyler Kolek gets them going. But like I said, this was the greatest Maui field we ever saw and Purdue just won the damn thing. I'm not going to bring up last year when talking about this year's team. This year's team is currently the best team in the country.