BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Ticker) -- Freshman Melvin Buckley and Purdue had a different opinion than those who felt Louisiana State would reach the "Sweet 16."
Buckley nailed five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 20 points as the ninth-seeded Boilermakers used a big second half to post an 80-56 rout of the No. 8 Tigers in the first round of the South Region.
Louisiana State (21-11) won seven of its last eight games and appeared to be a team on the rise, and a good number of prognosticators felt the Tigers would upset top-seeded Texas in the second round.
They won't even get the chance.
Purdue (19-10) scored the first 13 points of the second half to snap a 32-32 tie, capped by a 3-pointer from Buckley. The freshman remained hot from beyond the arc and his 3-pointer at the 13:10 mark made it 53-38.
"I didn't think he would give us 20 points tonight," Purdue coach Gene Keady said. "He is very capable of making three or four 3-pointers in a row. He's been a good student of the game and we are delighted he did this damage tonight."
The Boilermakers made 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in the second half, including one by David Teague just past the midway point of the half for a 58-40 bulge.
Kenneth Lowe, playing his second game after missing three with a dislocated shoulder, scored all of his 14 points in the first half. Leading scorer Willie Deane had nine of his 11 after halftime.
"We are not surprised at all," Deane said. "Guys have been stepping up for us all season."
Jamie Lloreda collected 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Tigers, who shot a dismal 33 percent (9-of-27) in the second half.
"The first five minutes of the second half made the difference in the game today," LSU coach John Brady said. "We couldn't get things going and they were knocking down shots."
Torris Bright netted 10 points for the Tigers, but Dupree was not a huge factor. LSU's leading scorer had eight points and seven rebounds and made 3-of-12 shots.
The Boilermakers had stumbled into the NCAA Tournament, losing six of their previous nine games. The 3-point shooting of Buckley helped give Purdue its eighth straight first-round victory.
Keady credited the competition in the Big Ten for his team's preparation.
"We play in the Big Ten where you are scouted so well and teams know everything about you, it was nice to get some freedom for a change," Keady said. "We came out tonight and just wanted to play hard."
Purdue turned in a sloppy first half with 11 turnovers, but Lowe's strong play kept it in the game. Lowe made 3-of-5 shots and all seven free throws in the first half.
LSU's frustration grew in the second half, which it began by missing 11-of-13 shots. Even a technical foul on Brady failed to inspire the Tigers.
"I try to do what I can," Brady said. "We just didn't make some plays. They were better than us in most areas of the game."