Purdue led wire to wire, but UW pulled to within two in the final minute.
However, the price for any loss -- even one this close -- is the end of their season.
Jon Brockman ended his career mgnificently: 20 points, 18 rebounds. But Justin Dentmon's troubles continued: five points.
Purdue goes on to the Sweet 16 where UConn awaits.
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UW defensive specialist Venoy Overton picked up four fouls in a quick flurry of the second half as the officiating crew began blowing whistles for the kind of defense other officiating crews have allowed.
"It was real tough," Overton said. "All the last 10-12 games I've been up in people playing physical and I felt like the refs were blowing the whistle a little too much," he said. "I felt like if it (the contact) didn't affect the play, they shouldn't have called it. … The ref was saying I was using too much body. … I kept trying to pressure up, but the refs just weren't allowing it today."
Romar tends not to criticize officials, but he did say he thought this crew had high tolorance for contact in the paint, but low tolerance for contact in the frontcourt.
Harder than high school
UW freshman Isaiah Thomas is used to the abrupt ending of seasons from his state tournament appearances at Curtis High School.
However, he said those eliminations didn't hurt as much as this one.
"It's more than high school," he said. "It's the NCAA tournament, you don't want to lose like this. Especially with a team that you think can go even farther. But it is what it is. We've got to get back in the gym."
Hec Ed South
The Huskies seemed amazed how many of their fans followed them down Interstate-5.
The cheering down the stretch made the Rose Garden sound very much like a UW home court.
"It was unbelievable the support we had," Brockman said. "The fans came out in full force wearing their purple. It really felt like we were playing at home. For me, that means the world that people really wanted to come and support us and wanted us to get it done. I just feel terrible, the fact that we couldn't get it done for them."
7:46 left: The Huskies have stormed back to at least give themselves a chance down the stretch.
Halftime: Purdue, 39, UW 28.
Quincy Pondexter has 10 for UW and Isaiah Thomas has nine. No one else has more than four. Brockman leads everyone with eight rebounds.
For Purdue, forward JaJuan Johnson has 11.
The Boilermakers look like the better team in just about every phase right now. Their defense is tough -- tougher than Washington State, tougher than USC, thougher than ASU, tougher than anything the Huskies have seen this season. UW is hitting 35.5 percent, and that won't do.
Purdue's offense took a while to get going, but once they got some outside shots to drop they got the lead up to double digits and got the Huskies to their current position -- which is on the ropes.
This is the Huskies' second-largest halftime defecit of the season. The only one larger game last week in the Pac-10 tournament against Arizona State ... and obviously UW didn't overcome it.
1st/7:47: At the start, it feels a little like football, where every possession feels important. Defensively, Purdue is picking up ball full court with the other Boilermakers hanging back cutting off all roads to the basket. UW can't get inside yet, so it feels like they'll have to hit some outside shots, and aside from a Dentmon trey, they haven't yet … are hardly trying them, in fact.
Tipoff: Huskies going with usual starting lineup: Brockman, Dentmon, Pondexter, Gant and Thomas.
The stakes: The Huskies head to Glendale, Ariz., to meet No. 1 seed UConn on Thursday ... or their season -- and the college careers of Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon come to an end.
Game is on CBS and 950-AM. I'll be back with a halftime report and then postgame notes and quotes.
At the Rose Garden: On my way in, it appeared that a lot of Husky fans have come down I-5 because there were far more purple shirts talking with scalpers.
Now that I'm in the seating area, I look across the court and there is Lorenzo Romar watching the UConn-Texas A&M game on one of the press-row TV.
Now much early suspense there: UConn up, 29-13.
Morning: A cloudy, mild game morning has dawned in Portland. But things should be pretty heated over at the Rose Garden at 2:40 this afternoon when Washington and Purdue play for the right to move on to the Sweet 16 next week at Glendale, Ariz.
Here's our TNT preview package: a Dave Boling column on Venoy Overton, my game-preview story, and some notes topped by a look at this match of teams from the Pac-10 and Big Ten.
Here's a preview from the Post-Tribune in Indiana.
The UW-Purdue winner will go on to a Thursday date with the winner of today's UConn-Texas A&M game. Here's a look at that one from the News-Trimes of Danbury, Conn.
I'll report back with news from the Rose Garden in early afternoon.