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Non-conference Opponents’ Update: December 14th

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Purdue's non-conference profile continues to look very strong with five top 50 opponents.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the more data that comes in is causing fluctuations in Purdue's RPI. Purdue had a pretty significant drop from 11 to 34 this week, mostly because Incarnate Word took their expected plummet from 39 to 131. Purdue's next two opponents are top 50 teams, however, and should stay there as the season progresses. That gives the Boilers an excellent chance to have five top 50 wins outside of the Big Ten against five NCAA teams, not to mention the possibilities that Lehigh, Howard, and Vermont could win their autobids.

But we're still overrated according to some crazies.

It should also be noted that Purdue is one of eight remaining undefeated teams, joining Michigan State, Xavier, SMU (who doesn't really count), Oklahoma, Iowa State, South Carolina, and Arkansas-Little Rock.

Purdue Boilermakers

RPI: 34

KenPom: 3

RPI top 50 wins: Florida (neutral floor), at Pittsburgh, New Mexico

KenPom top 50 wins: Florida (neutral floor), at Pittsburgh, New Mexico

North Carolina A&T (RPI: 259, KenPom: 302) - 4-8, 2-0 MEAC - The Aggies have the very early lead in the MEAC with a pair of home wins over Howard and Maryland-Eastern Shore. This has them as the only 2-0 team in league play, and their four overall wins also leads the conference. The highest rated team they have left is at Toledo next Monday.

Vermont (RPI: 185, KenPom: 149) - 4-6, 0-0 America East - The Catamounts had just one game last wek and it was an 80-68 loss to St. Bonaventure. This week they have their highest remaining game with UC-Santa Barbara coming to Burlington

Incarnate Word (RPI: 131, KenPom: 232) - 3-4, 0-0 Southland - Since the RPI does not count non-Division I games, incarnate Word officially has no wins to boost them. After losing to Sacramento State and California on a road trip they have the toughest schedule strength in the country, however, because three of their four D-I games were against top 100 teams. This week they have a non-DI game against a great named school: Lady of the Lake.

Old Dominion (RPI: 218, KenPom: 94) - 4-5, 0-0 Conference USA - ODU lost a road game on Saturday at Georgia State 68-64, dropping them below .500 for the season. Their last hope for a decent non-conference win is Wednesday night when they go to Richmond for a rivalry game.

Florida (RPI: 5, KenPom: 23) - 6-3, 0-0 SEC - It was an 0-2 week for Florida, but it was a very good 0-2 as they lost 66-55 at Miami before pushing No. 1 Michigan State in a 58-52 loss. Both were road games and while a win in one of them would have been nice, they pump up the computer numbers for a team that the computers already loved. They still have two chances for decent non-conference wins this weekend against Oklahoma State and on December 29 against Florida State.

Lehigh (RPI: 304, KenPom: 218) - 1-7, 0-0 Patriot League - No change this week as they have not played since December 5th. Their next game is this Thursday at Robert Morris.

Pittsburgh (RPI: 19, KenPom: 27) - 8-1, 0-0 ACC - An RPI top 25 true road victory? That is what Purdue has in the win over Pittsburgh. The Panthers rolled to two easy victories this week over Duquesne and Morehead State. This Sunday they have a neutral court game against Davidson that could also raise their profile greatly. It is a shame that the Gonzaga game was cancelled or this win would be even better.

New Mexico (RPI: 35, KenPom: 50) - 6-2, 0-0 Mountain West - New Mexico got a good win over Northern Iowa 76-57 on Saturday and now have two relatively easy games before their in-season tournament at Hawaii. The Diamond Head Classic is a great chance for them to really make a move toward an at large bid. This should be a victory that carries quite a bit of weight as the season goes on.

IUPUI (RPI: 273, KenPom 272) - 3-9, 0-0 Summit League - While Purdue went 3-0 this week IUPUI went 0-3. The first loss was expected at Purdue. They then lost road games at Missouri State and Creighton to fall to 3-9. Saturday afternoon they host Southern Utah for their first home game in almost a month.

Howard (RPI: 226, KenPom: 235) - 6-5, 1-1 MEAC - Howard beat North Carolina Central on Monday by two to get their first conference win, but dropped a 92-91 heartbreaker at home to Radford on Saturday. They officially trail North Carolina A&T by a game in the MEAC, with their best opponent coming at Hawaii on December 2.

Youngstown State (RPI: 262, KenPom: 255) - 4-6, 0-0 Horizon League - Youngstown State's only game in the past week was at Purdue, and we know how it went. At least their computer numbers went up simply by playing us.

Butler (RPI: 46, KenPom: 29) - 8-1, 0-0 Big East - Butler beat VMI as predicted and earned a major conference victory on Saturday by beating Tennessee at Hinkle 94-86. Their lone loss was to Miami on a neutral floor in the Puerto Rico title game. The Crossroads game with Purdue is a big one for both schools and should be very interesting.

Vanderbilt (RPI: 39, KenPom: 15) - 6-3, 0-0 SEC - The Commodores dropped their only game of the week in a 72-67 home loss to Dayton that will likely knock them out of the top 25. They play Wofford this Saturday before coming to Purdue, but their best win to date is over Detroit, whose numbers are rather inflated at the moment.