The loss to Minnesota on Saturday was not crippling, but it does tighten things for the Boilers. Fortunately for us Minnesota still has a strong enough non-conference profile and the ability to climb back into the NCAA race themselves. At the very least they are going to be a solid NIT team, but it does limit what Purdue has to do going forward.
With seven games left Purdue probably has to win at least four to have a legitimate at large shot. The Bubble looks weak enough that 19 wins in the regular season and a win or two in Chicago could be enough. In that, Purdue cannot afford a loss to Rutgers, who currently has a losing record, or Nebraska, who is not going to the tournament and plays Purdue at Mackey Arena. As long as Purdue wins these three and only three it is, at worst, a lock for the NIT and a high seed there.
Of the other four, Purdue probably has to beat Illinois in West Lafayette. Having already lost to the Illini in Champaign the Boilers can't afford to be swept and give the committee a reason to live them out over a fellow team. This needs to be win No. 19.
Getting No. 20 got a lot tougher after losing to Minnesota. Purdue barely got past Ohio State in West Lafayette without Marc Loving. If he returns I don't see Purdue winning in Columbus, and even if he doesn't it will be tough. In terms of matchups Purdue's best hope might be against Indiana, but the Hoosiers are completely different at home and even Purdue's best teams have struggled greatly to beat IU at Assembly Hall even when Indiana is awful. That leaves Michigan State, an up and down team that is a crap shoot, but still playing at home.
So we'll see. Here is how the profile looks today:
Purdue RPI: 72 (The same as last week)
Purdue KenPom: 54 (Up from 59)
Vs. Top 50 RPI: 3-4
Vs. Top 100 RPI: 8-5
Vs. Top 50 KenPom: 4-4
Vs. Top 100 KenPom: 7-6
Best wins: Indiana (RPI 31, KenPom 50), Iowa (RPI 38, KenPom 27), Ohio State (RPI 35, KenPom 14) NC State (RPI 64, KenPom 59), BYU (RPI 66, KenPom 41)
Bad Losses: North Florida (RPI 203, KenPom 138), Gardner-Webb (RPI 155, KenPom 209), Vanderbilt (RPI 102, KenPom 48), Kansas State (RPI 109, KenPom 94)
Samford - 12-14, 5-8 SoCon, RPI: 276, KenPom: 285 - Samford is on a little bit of a roll right now as they have won five in a row after dropping eight straight to start their conference. The latest wins were over Western Carolina 76-72 and East Tennessee State 71-68. Their conference's leader, Wofford might be good enough for the rare at large bid from the SoCon, which affects us if we're on the Bubble and they lose the conference tourney.
IUPUI - 8-16, 4-6 Summit, RPI: 252, KenPom: 274 - The Jaguars dropped both games since the last update, falling 78-68 to Oral Roberts and 63-56 loss to South Dakota State. Their next game is tonight against IPFW
Grambling State - 2-19, 0-11 MEAC, RPI: 350, KenPom 351 - The Tigers might have seen their best chance at a win over a D-I team end when they lost 91-77 at 4-17 Alcorn State. They also lost 58-50 at Southern and are now one RPI spot from the double 351 of being the worst rated team in the country.
Kansas State - 12-12, 5-6 Big 12, RPI: 109, KenPom: 94 - A few weeks ago Kansas State was playing like a bubble team. They have now lost four straight to fall out of the top 100. This time it was 64-47 to Texas Tech and 61-57 at home to Texas. Still, had we beaten them it would be a better win than Missouri.
Missouri - 7-17, 1-10 SEC, RPI: 170, KenPom: 204 - Missouri might be the worst major conference team in America. After losing to Alabama, TexasA&M, and then South Carolina last night their KenPom fell into the 200s. Inexplicably, they did beat LSU who nearly beat Kentucky last night.
BYU - 18-8, 8-5 WCC, RPI: 66, KenPom: 41 - The Cougars' at large hopes suffered a major blow when they lost 80-74 at Pepperdine last week, giving the Waves a season sweep of them. There is no way the 4th place team in the WCC is getting at at large bid, but if they can win the last five, two of which are against St. Mary's and Gonzaga, they are back in it.
North Carolina State - 14-10, 5-6 ACC, RPI: 60, KenPom: 56 - No updates, as NC State had the weekend off before hosting Virginia tonight. It is a huge opportunity for a team teetering off the Bubble now after losing four of their last five.
North Florida - 15-10, 7-1 Atlantic Sun, RPI: 203, KenPom: 138 - UNF saw its RPI drop after beating a very bad Jacksonville team 77-50. They are tied for the conference lead with Florida Gulf Coast, both at 7-1, and UNF has already beaten them. They play at South Carolina Upstate, the team that handed them their only conference loss, on Thursday.
IPFW - 13-11, 6-5 Summit, RPI: 228, KenPom: 201 - IPFW is on a five game winning streak after beating South Dakota State 84-74 and Oral Roberts 75-69. That has allowed them to climb to fourth place in the conference, and they could once again challenge for the automatic bid from their league.
Arkansas State - 9-13, 4-9 Sun Belt, RPI: 271, KenPom: 281 - On the other hand, Arkansas State has now lost five straight after losing 69-64 to Troy. They are tied for last place in the Sun Belt at 4-9.
Vanderbilt - 13-10, 3-7 SEC, RPI: 102, KenPom: 48 - The Commodores are now on a two-game winning streak after their seven game losing streak ended their NCAA chances. A 65-50 win over South Carolina gives them some momentum with eight games play and a chance to go on a bit of a run.
Notre Dame - 22-4, 10-3 ACC, RPI: 28, KenPom: 17 - The dream of an ACC title likely died on Saturday when they were crushed at Duke by 30, but the Irish recovered to beat Clemson by two last night. They can probably get a No. 2 seed, but with Duke, ND, and Virginia can the ACC really get three of the top 8 seeds?
Gardner-Webb - 16-10, 8-5 Big South, RPI: 155, KenPom: 209 - If you want a mess of a conference you could have looked at the Big South on Sunday, which had a 7-way tie for first place at 8-4, one of which Gardner Webb. The Bulldogs then lost at home to UNC-Asheville on Monday.