WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue's Jon Octeus has taken an unusual journey through college basketball.

He played at and graduated from Colorado State, then thought he'd wind up attending grad school at UCLA. But when he wasn't accepted in late September, one of the Bruins' assistant coaches helped the point guard find a landing spot with the Boilermakers.

It's been a perfect marriage.

Octeus has started all 33 games for Purdue and given it veteran leadership at a spot where the Boilermakers were thin. And he's played a major role in Purdue's remarkable turnaround, from the Big Ten basement to the NCAA Tournament.

Now, after all that, Octeus and his teammates are getting ready to face eighth-seeded Cincinnati on Thursday night.

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