Purdue's run has gotten the Boilers to the happy side of the Bubble. I said at the beginning of the Big Ten season that 11 wins might be enough. Well, we're here. The Boilers would do well to win at least one more game and avoid spoiling their hot streak by losing four straight going into Selection Sunday, but for now, things are looking really, really good. We're trending upward and are playing to avoid Dayton more than playing just to get in.
Lots of things are helping us. North Carolina State knocking off North Carolina was really good. North Florida all but winning their regular season conference title is worth something. Even a team like Kansas State is doing its part. Ultimately, the best thing for Purdue is to just keep winning. With three games to go in the regular season we might as well win some and play for a seed rather than just a spot.
Purdue RPI: 58 (Up 1 from last week, but this number as taken before the Rutgers game.)
Purdue KenPom: 44 (Up 7 from last week. Does not include Thursday win yet)
Vs. Top 50 RPI: 4-3
Vs. Top 100 RPI: 8-6
Vs. Top 50 KenPom: 6-4
Vs. Top 100 KenPom: 9-7
Best wins: Indiana (RPI 36, KenPom 46) at Indiana (RPI 36, KenPom 46), Ohio State (RPI 46, KenPom 15), NC State (RPI 39, KenPom 33), Iowa (RPI 52, KenPom 27)
Bad Losses: North Florida (RPI 163, KenPom 123), Gardner-Webb (RPI 160, KenPom 219), Vanderbilt (RPI 107, KenPom 48).
Samford - 12-18, 5-12 SoCon, RPI: 295, KenPom: 287 - As I write this Samford is losing badly to 6-20 UNC-Greensboro, which will knock them to 5-12 in their league. It also will likely drop their RPI into the sub 300 range. We're better served by watching Wofford from their league, who is at 49 in the RPI and who could steal an at large bid if they don't win the auto bid.
IUPUI - 10-19, 6-9 Summit, RPI: 245, KenPom: 283 - IUPUI beat Western Illinois last night to break a modest two-game losing streak. They close the regular season at home on Saturday against Nebraska-Omaha, but they are going to have the 7 or 8 seed in the Summit League Tournament.
Grambling State - 2-22, 0-14 MEAC, RPI: 351, KenPom 351 - Surprise! Grambling lost big again. They lost 72-33 to Jackson State, a team that is No. 319 in the RPI and only 9-19 themselves. They mercifully have only four games left in the season.
Kansas State - 14-15, 7-9 Big 12, RPI: 89, KenPom: 85 - The win by Kansas State over Kansas on Monday was big for us because it gets the Wildcats on the happy side of 100, lessening the pain of this loss significantly. If this team wasn't so bipolar it would be an NCAA lock. Losing 7 of 8 before the Kasnas game killed them.
Missouri - 8-20, 2-13 SEC, RPI: 204, KenPom: 191 - Missouri won a game! Their losing streak reached 13 before they turned it around and beat Florida 64-52 on Tuesday. Florida was (at one time) a top 10 team, but man, they have fallen. As for Missouri, it is good they actually won a game.
BYU - 21-8, 11-5 WCC, RPI: 57, KenPom: 32 - BYU beat San Diego over the weekend 75-61 and played at Portland late last night in a game they should have won. Their big one is Saturday night in the regular season finale when they play at Gonzaga. Win that and BYU is in the field.
North Carolina State - 17-11, 8-7 ACC, RPI: 39, KenPom: 33 - After midseason dip the Wolfpack is looking great. This is now a very, very good win for us after they beat North Carolina 58-46 on the road. NC State has now won three in a row and has three manageable games to close out against Boston College, Clemson, and Syracuse. They're probablyan NCAA lock if they win two of those.
North Florida - 19-11, 11-2 Atlantic Sun, RPI: 163, KenPom: 123 - This is still not a good loss by the computer numbers, but UNF beat Northern Kentucky over the weekend and got a huge 76-62 win at Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday night. That puts the Ospreys into a first place tie with FGCU for the A-Sun and UNF won both games. A win over last place Stetson on Saturday gives North Florida the regular season title, No. 1 seed in the conference tourney, and at minimum an automatic NIT bid.
IPFW - 16-13, 8-7 Summit, RPI: 191, KenPom: 157 - IPFW has two straight losses headed into their regular season finale against Western Illinois. That cost them valuable seeding in the conference tournament, but anything can still happen. They might get as high as the three seed, but North Dakota State and South Dakota State are the big favorites.
Arkansas State - 10-15, 5-11 Sun Belt, RPI: 262, KenPom: 275 - Arkansas State lost to Arkansas-Little Rock, but beat Louisiana-Monroe since the last update. They were playing Texas-Arlington last night in a close game that finished after I was done writing this.
Vanderbilt - 16-12, 6-9 SEC, RPI: 107, KenPom: 48 - Vanderbilt won the zero-sum game this past weekend by beating Miissouri over the weekend and carried it over by beating Tennessee 73-65 last night. With three games left against Alabama, Mississippi State, and Mississippi the Commodores can finish strong, get on the good side of 100 in the RPI, and get to .500 in the SEC. This also would be a tournament team if they hadn't lost 7 straight midseason.
Notre Dame - 24-5, 12-4 ACC, RPI: 29, KenPom: 20 - The Irish slipped out of the ACC race with a loss to Syracuse this week, but they are still in good shape to earn a top four seed and play in the NCAAs close to home.
Gardner-Webb - 18-12, 10-7 Big South, RPI: 160, KenPom: 219 - With North Florida having a good shot at winning their auto-bid can Gardner-Webb do the same? They have beaten Liberty and Charleston Southern to get to sixth in their league with one game left. They could still get a top 4 seed in their tournament.