MILWAUKEE, Wis. — It’s over.

Iowa State’s season and the most successful era of basketball for the program came to a close Saturday night in the Bradley Center, as the Cyclones’ furious comeback from a huge deficit wasn’t sufficient enough in an 80-76 loss to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

With 100 wins, four NCAA tournaments, two Sweet 16s and three Big 12 tournament titles, this group of seniors — Monte Morris, Matt Thomas and Naz Mitrou-Long — are among the most decorated in program history.

“You’re saying goodbye to two of the best 3-point shooters that have ever come through here,” ISU coach Steve Prohm said, “and, with all respect to Jamaal Tinsley and (Jeff) Hornacek, probably the best point guard probably ever to come through this school.”

Those three, along with Deonte Burton, who has been in the program for the better part of three seasons after transferring from Marquette, helped extend ISU’s winning ways beyond the departure of the likes of coach Fred Hoiberg and the program’s second-leading scorer, Georges Niang, when it looked as though ISU’s success would be capped at 2016.

ISU got an extra year of an era once described as Hoiball after the former coach, but will need a new title given the success of Prohm and the Hoiberg-recruited players over the last two years.

Morris turning down the NBA and Mitrou-Long postponing his final season due to injury made this season special when it could have been the start of the reset Prohm will now be tasked with undertaking.

“It’s just tough to say goodbye to those guys,” Prohm said. “Those shoes are going to be extremely hard to fill, but everywhere I’ve been, the next guy comes along, and that’s my staff’s job to continue to recruit the next guy.”

It ended in an extremely ISU way against the Boilermakers, who led by as many as 19 in the second half. The Cyclones, never shy about mounting massive comebacks, hit Purdue midway through the second half with a flurry that turned a blowout into a barnburner.

It was classic ISU, with 3-pointers dropping, the ball moving and players running in transition. It was everything that’s made the program hum over the last six seasons.

ISU took a two-point lead late, but couldn’t hold it as Purdue regrouped, got enough stops, enough fortuitous bounces and made enough plays to claim a spot in the Sweet 16 and deny ISU’s presence there for a third time in four years.

While the Cyclones made it interesting, and they almost always do, things looked dire early as Purdue dominated play in the first half and the opening moments of the second.

The Cyclones weren’t overwhelmed by the moment or completely neutralized by the Boilermakers in the first half, but they were bested.

When things looked their brightest for ISU, Purdue moved in to overshadow them.

Burton’s bucket with just less than 4 minutes remaining in the half brought ISU to within three and looked to energize a Cyclones’ offense that was lagging. Instead, it just marked the highwater point of the half.

The Boilermakers rattled off a 15-5 run to close the half, with Dakota Mathias’ off-balance 3-pointer right before the buzzer providing the exclamation point on Purdue’s half.

For as well as ISU had played since the start of February, this was undoubtedly a regression. The shot selection was poor. The ball movement was limited. There was no spark and little purpose to the offense. The defense had no answer for Purdue’s size or precision.

Purdue just dictated everything in a game that ISU absolutely had to control style and tempo in order to win.

ISU failed completely in this respect.

Then in the second half, Prohm went small, spread Purdue out and watched his guys go to work.

Burton was brilliant, carving up Boilermaker All-American Caleb Swanigan in the second half. Burton finished with 25 points, four rebounds and one spectacular block of Swanigan that kept ISU’s hopes alive for a few extra moments.

ISU even had a chance to get the ball down two with 11 seconds left when Purdue missed the front-end of a one-and-one. Swanigan, one of the country’s best rebounders, was there to gobble up the carom and keep the Cyclones from overtaking them for a final time.

The Cyclones didn’t go out quietly. They were exciting and exasperating. They were dynamic. They were fun. It ended in defeat, but it checked so many of the boxes that have made this group not only wildly successful, but highly entertaining for all these seasons.

“You just believe, man,” Mitrou-Long said. “Over the last four or five years, that’s been our motto. We’ve been known as the comeback kids. I apologize to the fans for all the heartaches we’ve given over the years, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because it’s been the most special times of my life.

“We believed, and we did right until the buzzer.”

When that buzzer sounded, it brought the curtain down on what can only be described as a golden era.

Gone are Morris, Mitrou-Long and Thomas, who were a part of more wins than any other class at ISU. They won three Big 12 tournaments and played in two Sweet 16s. They were vital components of the last four years as ISU rose up the college basketball ranks.

The era ends because they’re moving on, but it existed largely to their exploits. Hoiberg, Royce White, DeAndre Kane, Melvin Ejim and Niang were the headliners for most of the last six years, but Morris blossomed into an All-American while Mitrou-Long and Thomas became two of the most prolific shooters in school history.

Their legacies are a part of the program forever. Prohm will look to build on the success they enjoyed together. ISU is in the spot it is in because Prohm and the players he inherited from Hoiberg made things work. It kept ISU as a national brand.

“This being the end, when you look at the jersey numbers 11, 21, 30 and 15,” Mitrou-Long said of the four seniors, “you can really look back and say we left our jerseys in a better place.

“For the next generation of young guys, we set the bar at an elite level.”

Soon, the reshaping of the program in Prohm’s image will be fully underway. Things are set up for success, even if it will be in a different way and with a different group. Even in the sunniest of forecasts, this era will be hard to top. None of the ones that came before could do it.

What this era has done, though, is recreate and reimagine the program. It’s made it a program to be proud of again.

This was once a season that looked to be mired in inconsistency and frustration. Prohm and his players, though, refused to let it slip into mediocrity. They played their best basketball in the best time to do so, and reached heights befitting of the five years that came before.

“In the last couple weeks, I’ve heard from Niang,” Prohm said, “I’ve heard from (Melvin) Ejim, Fred, (Marcus) Fizer, Jamaal Tinsley, and that’s when you know you’re at a real program, where the alumni and the former players are following everything you do, and you can’t let those guys down.

“And these seniors didn’t.”

They lived up to the standard while raising it along the way. That’s the legacy of this program, these seniors and this era.