Is it as simple as winning the last two home games against Rutgers and Illinois and Purdue is in? It certainly could be. It is hard to believe that seven weeks ago this team was so far off the NCAA radar that the NIT was a pipe dream. Now they have won 10 Big Ten games and should get to 11 because if we lose to Rutgers at home we have no business going to the Tournament. The season finale against Illinois is still huge, but Purdue could still win in Columbus or East Lansing. I am putting nothing past them after last night.
So how does the overall profile look?
Purdue RPI: 59 (Up 13 from last week)
Purdue KenPom: 51 (does not include Thursday win yet)
Vs. Top 50 RPI: 4-4
Vs. Top 100 RPI: 8-4
Vs. Top 50 KenPom: 5-4
Vs. Top 100 KenPom: 8-8
Best wins: Indiana (RPI 34, KenPom 43) at Indiana (RPI 34, KenPom 43), Ohio State (RPI 38, KenPom 14), NC State (RPI 47, KenPom 42), BYU (RPI 58, KenPom 31)
Bad Losses: North Florida (RPI 190, KenPom 148), Gardner-Webb (RPI 161, KenPom 213), Vanderbilt (RPI 113, KenPom 50), Kansas State (RPI 109, KenPom 90)
Samford - 12-16, 5-10 SoCon, RPI: 283, KenPom: 287 - Samford's five game winning streak is over, as they lost two in a row to The Citadel (66-65) and Chattanooga (79-72). The Citadel was an absolutely horrible loss.
IUPUI - 9-17, 5-8 Summit, RPI: 242, KenPom: 279 - The Jaguars have now lost five of their last six, but they won 54-53 at Denver on Satruday. That was before a 57-48 loss at North Dakota State this week.
Grambling State - 2-21, 0-13 MEAC, RPI: 351, KenPom 351 - The dream has been achieved. Grambling State is officially the worst team in America as they are dead last in both KenPom and RPI. This comes after an 81-58 loss to Texas Southern and 95-44 loss to Prairie View A&M.
Kansas State - 13-14, 6-8 Big 12, RPI: 109, KenPom: 90 - The Wildcats have lost 6 of 7, but the one victory was a 69-55 win over a ranked Oklahoma team to give them a season sweep. No, I cannot figure them out, either. They lost this week 69-55 to TCU.
Missouri - 7-19, 1-12 SEC, RPI: 187, KenPom: 202 - It is now 12 straight losses after Missouri lost to Mississippi 77-74 and Arkansas 84-69. This weekend they play at Vanderbilt in the game that completely cancels itself out for Purdue's RPI purposes.
BYU - 20-8, 10-5 WCC, RPI: 58, KenPom: 31 - BYU is trying to play itself back onto the Bubble. They got a nice home win over St. Mary's 82-60 and beat Pacific 84-59 before playing San Diego last night in a game that ended after I went to bed. They are now third in the WCC and have a huge game at Gonzaga next week.
North Carolina State - 15-11, 6-7 ACC, RPI: 47, KenPom: 42 - NC State had a close loss at home to Virginia before picking up a huge road win at Louisville 74-65. They are right there on the Bubble with us, but have a slightly better overall profile.
North Florida - 17-11, 9-2 Atlantic Sun, RPI: 190, KenPom: 148 - UNF lost at South Carolina Upstate 80-63 to end a sweep by them, but beat Kennesaw State 67-51 and Lipscomb 93-78 to stay in second place in the Atlantic Sun. A win at Florida Gulf Coast next week likely gives them the top seed in the A-Sun Tournament, as FGCU is 10-1 in the league, but has already lost to UNF.
IPFW - 14-11, 6-5 Summit, RPI: 202, KenPom: 176 - The ‘dons are rolling, having won six in a row after beating IUPUI 69-54 last week. They played Denver in a game that ended late last night and have climbed to third in the Summit League
Arkansas State - 9-14, 4-10 Sun Belt, RPI: 267, KenPom: 278 - Only one complete game since the last update, and it was a 65-60 loss to Georgia Southern. They were losing late last night to Arkansas-Little Rock.
Vanderbilt - 14-12, 4-9 SEC, RPI: 113, KenPom: 50 - The Commodores actually won a game this past week, beating Alabama 76-68. They lost midweek this week 50-47 at Florida and are near the bottom of the SEC standings. It would be nice if both they and Kansas State could get on the happy side of 100 by the end of the year.
Notre Dame - 23-4, 11-3 ACC, RPI: 25, KenPom: 20 - Notre Dame took care of business with an 88-75 win at home against Wake Forest. They night win the rest of their games before the ACC Tournament with only a trip to Louisville as much of a challenge.
Gardner-Webb - 16-12, 8-7 Big South, RPI: 161, KenPom: 213 - Gardner-Webb has now lost three in a row after a 71-68 loss at Winthrop and an 83-72 loss at High Point. This conference is crazy though, because three games ago they were part of a 7-way tie for first place.