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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: December 21

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Purdue's NCAA profile actually got better this week even with a loss.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue now has a loss. Only once under Matt Painter has Purdue gone through the non-conference season undefeated, but to some, a six point loss to a ranked team on a neutral floor is a grievous insult and the Fire Painter crowd is now more vocal. Contrary to what some think, you can still make a Final Four and even win national title if you lose a regular season game in December. So let's calm down.

The overall profile is still excellent and as long as Purdue beats Vanderbilt and does well in the Big Ten the Boilers will get a nice seed in March. The sky is not falling. I would rather have a bad game and work on things now then have what happened in 2011 happen.

Purdue Boilermakers

RPI: 23

KenPom: 4

RPI top 50 wins: Florida (neutral floor), at Pittsburgh, Incarnate Word

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

North Carolina A&T (RPI: 261, KenPom: 247) - 5-8, 2-0 MEAC - UNCA&T played only once this week, but it won for the fifth time in six games with a 61-47 over winless Grambling State.

Vermont (RPI: 185, KenPom: 152) - 6-6, 0-0 America East - Vermont now has a pattern to its season. It has gone LLWWLLWWLLWW in its first 12 games, meaning it won its last two. It beat UC-Santa Barbara 75-68 and then non-DI Fisher College 84-37 on Saturday.

Incarnate Word (RPI: 46, KenPom: 160) - 3-4, 0-0 Southland - What a week for Incarnate Word, as they suddenly jumped back into the top 50 of the RPI. On Tuesday they lost at home to Our Lady of the Lake, a school I did not even know existed. They then went to New York City and beat St. John's 73-51. This week they stay in the NYC area and face Long Island.

Old Dominion (RPI: 217, KenPom: 91) - 5-6, 0-0 Conference USA - The Monarchs got a split this week, but they did not win the better game as Richmond beat them 77-61. They rebounded with a win over Maryland-Eastern Shore, but this week they host No. 100 Rhode Island.

Florida (RPI: 4, KenPom: 24) - 7-3, 0-0 SEC - Only one game this week for Florida, but it was a nice neutral court win in Sunrise, Florida over Oklahoma State 72-70. The computers still love Florida quite a bit, mostly for playing Purdue, at Miami, and at Michigan State. This week they host one of the worst teams in the country with Jacksonville.

Lehigh (RPI: 312, KenPom: 230) - 2-8, 0-0 Patriot League - Lehigh lost to a really, really bad Robert Morris team on Thursday but recovered to beat Mount St. Mary's on Saturday. They have one more non-conference game against Stony Brook before Patriot League play starts.

Pittsburgh (RPI: 7, KenPom: 21) - 9-1, 0-0 ACC - Pittsburgh helped us out quite a bit on Sunday with a nice 94-69 over Davidson. Davidson is a top 25 RPI win for them, and it makes sure Purdue has a second top 10 RPI victory in its non-conference. As long as these computer numbers stay high they will pay huge dividends for Purdue.

New Mexico (RPI: 78, KenPom: 65) - 7-3, 0-0 Mountain West - The Lobos dropped over 40 points in the RPI with a bad home loss to Rice 90-89 on Saturday. This followed a second win over New Mexico State to earn a season sweep over their in-state rivals. This week they have a great chance to build their profile in the Diamondhead Classic, starting tomorrow against Auburn.

IUPUI (RPI: 256, KenPom 255) - 4-9, 0-0 Summit League - The Hoosiermakers played only once this week, but earned an 82-68 win at home. That moved them to a very nice 3-0 at home this season, but their next four games are on the road, including a Monday game at Butler.

Howard (RPI: 227, KenPom: 239) - 7-5, 1-1 MEAC - The Bison played once this week and it was a barn-burner with a 103-93 win over Maryland-Baltimore County. They now have a three game road trip that includes a January 2 trip to Hawaii.

Youngstown State (RPI: 268, KenPom: 263) - 5-7, 0-0 Horizon League - The win for the Penguins this last week was a non-DI game over Geneva. They then went to Michigan and lost by 59 on Saturday, so... yikes!

Butler (RPI: 13, KenPom: 22) - 9-1, 0-0 Big East - By simply playing Butler Purdue's RPI jumped almost 10 points. Yes, it was a frustrating loss, but far from a bad one as long as it becomes a learning experience. As long as Purdue rebounds by beating Vanderbilt it will be fine.

Vanderbilt (RPI: 51, KenPom: 17) - 7-3, 0-0 SEC - Vanderbilt got a win over Wofford 80-56, but they might be in a little bit of desperation mode on Tuesday night. Their best win is still only Wake Forest, and the losses to Baylor and Dayton were missed opportunities. This still should be one of the SEC's better teams.