Purdue's locker room was quiet.
But not somber.
Players still smiled and chatted with each other.
Senior Keaton Grant was surrounded by Robbie Hummel and coaches. Classmate Chris Kramer was slouched in his chair in front of a locker.
Kramer's reaction after the Boilermakers' 70-57 loss was the most severe. Before he left the court, he was crying.
But by the time media entered the locker room, he was composed, though quiet.
He shared the sentiments of his teammates: They fought hard, represented themselves well but it just wasn't enough to move on.
Against Duke and for the season.
"I'm just proud of the guys, the character and the toughness that everyone showed battling through adversity and really coming together and stepping up," said Kramer, speaking just above a whisper. "We had a few bumps in the road along the way. But it's just like a team in November and December, finding their identity (without Hummel). We got to the Sweet 16, something we did last season.
"We wanted more. But this is where the road ends."
This matchup was going to be a tough one, and it proved that, trying to match Duke's size.
Purdue countered it a bit early by playing great defense and taking care of the ball. Duke led at halftime only 24-23 despite holding a 29-13 rebounding edge because Purdue limited the Blue Devils to 24 percent shooting and had only four turnovers.
But Duke started to attack the basket more in the second half -- and shot 58 percent. That boost in offense combined with a still-dominating performance on the boards was just too much for the Boilermakers to match.
Especially when they struggled to make shots.
I thought E'Twaun Moore showed a lot of heart, diving on the ground for steals and playing strong when he was matched up against bigger players. But it was obvious the long season with extended minutes hurt his shot late in the season. Some say it was Hummel's absence, but I thought Moore still got great looks, many at the rim, and just couldn't finish because he didn't have the legs.
That was the case again Friday. Moore made only 7 of 18 shots and many of those misses were at the basket. Tough shots maybe for "normal" players, but Moore is a superstar and Purdue fans had grown accustomed to seeing him make them regularly.
Still, this Purdue team deserves a lot of credit for how it fought without Hummel.
Much of that goes to Kramer, whose strong will urged the team forward.
His loss will be immeasurable.
"Chris is probably the key guy as far as the tremendous attitude that the Purdue team has," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "It starts with him. He's a fighter. He plays so hard. He plays to win all the time. I just think he's been a tremendous leader.
"He was the last guy I shook hands with, and he was crying. Again, I don't know him personally, but I do admire him. I just told him, 'Son, your team and you played your butts off. You've had a great career. You should be proud of it.' I know I would like to have him on my team. He just makes you better."