TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- For four seasons, Brian Cardinal has been diving after loose balls. Today, his hustle really paid off.
Cardinal's play on a loose ball led to three made free throws by fellow senior Jaraan Cornell that lifted sixth-seeded Purdue to a dramatic 66-62 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma in a second-round West Region game.
With the game tied 60-60 and under a minute to play, Cardinal dove and tipped a loose ball to Carson Cunningham, who found Cornell at the top of the key. Cornell's 3-pointer was off the mark, but Kelley Newton was called for a questionable foul.
Cornell was perfect from the line with 43 seconds remaining as the Boilermakers (23-9) took the lead for good and held on to reach the "Sweet 16" for the third consecutive season.
Purdue will play either second-seeded St. John's or Gonzaga on Thursday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Oklahoma (27-7) reached the regional semifinals a year ago despite being seeded 13th.
Cornell scored 13 points in the final 9 1/2 minutes, including runner in the lane with 4:40 to play that gave Purdue a 56-53 lead. But Nolan Johnson had a layup and tipped in a miss around Victor Avila's free throw as the Sooners tied it with 1:50 left.
Johnson, a junior guard from Brooklyn, New York, scored a career-high 20 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out two assists with just one turnover for Oklahoma, which shot 45 percent (26-of-58) but just 2-of-19 from 3-point range.
Purdue went on top as Cunningham fed Greg McQuay for an alley-oop dunk, but Avila's follow with 65 seconds to go forced another deadlock.
Following Cornell's free throws, freshman Hollis Price went 2-of-2 from the line with 35 seconds to go, bringing the Sooners within a point. On the ensuing possession, it appeared Oklahoma had forced Cunningham into a turnover, but the referees instead called a jump ball.
The Boilermakers sealed the game in the final 21 seconds as Maynard Lewis went 3-of-4 from the foul line.
McQuay scored 16 points and Cornell added 15 for Purdue, which connected on 42 percent (22-of-52) of its shots, including 4-of-19 from beyond the arc, and outscored the Sooners at the foul line, 18-8.
Eduardo Najera had 15 points and six rebounds and Price added 10 points but committed seven of Oklahoma's 12 turnovers. The Sooners held a 37-31 rebounding advantage as Avila contributed eight boards with seven points.