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Non-Conference Opponents Update January 18

Purdue's non-conference profile continues to look strong thanks to Florida, Vanderbilt, and Pittsburgh.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue continues to get plenty of help from its non-conference schedule as there is very little change in its RPI and KenPom numbers. The RPI dropped one slot, while the KenPom went up one slot. The Illinois loss looks worse after the Illini spent their week off doing nothing before losing to Nebraska. They fell to 119 in the RPI, but Wisconsin's upset of Michigan State moved them to 91. Penn State winning at Northwestern moved the Nittany Lions to 84.

There are a few chances that a non-conference opponent could move into the top 100.

Purdue Boilermakers

RPI: 30

KenPom: 12

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

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

Bad losses: at Illinois (RPI 102, Kenpom 97)

North Carolina A&T (RPI: 326, KenPom: 327) - 5-14, 2-3 MEAC - NC A&T did not have a good week, dropping both of their games in MEAC play. They fell 92-85 at South Carolina State and 79-62 at home against league leader Hampton.

Vermont (RPI: 134, KenPom: 148) - 10-8, 2-1 America East - The Catamounts had only one game this week, but it was an 83-68 win over Hartford to move to 2-1 in the league. It looks like this will be a three team race between Vermont, Albany, and Stony Brook, with Stony Brook being a top 100 team at 80. Vermont plays Stony Brook at home on January 30th, and that could be a chance for them to move into the top 100.

Incarnate Word (RPI: 202, KenPom: 186) 8-7, 3-1 Southland - Even though Incarnate Word is not eligible for the NCAA Tournament yet they are doing well in the Southland Conference. They won twice this week, 71-68 over New Orleans and 75-71 over Southeastern Louisiana. That moved them to 3-1 in their league.

Old Dominion (RPI: 187, KenPom: 126) - 9-9, 2-3 Conference USA - Any hopes of Old Dominion being a good win were torpedoed with a horrible week for the Monarchs. They had a chance to gain ground with a pair of top 100 opponents, but fell 72-71 to UAB and 64-61 to Middle Tennessee State.

Florida (RPI: 18, KenPom: 27) - 11-6, 3-2 SEC - Florida earned a split this week, with their loss being a boost because Texas A&M is so highly rated in the computers. The Gators had a shot at huge road win but lost 71-68 at Texas A&M, while Florida returned home to beat Mississippi 80-71.

Lehigh (RPI: 272, KenPom: 236) - 5-12, 3-3 Patriot League - Another week, another split for Lehigh has they continue to alternate wins and losses in conference play. They lost at home to Bucknell 82-76 but went on the road and beat Holy Cross 87-66. Bucknell and Navy are tied atop this league at 5-1.

Pittsburgh (RPI: 22, KenPom: 29) - 15-2, 4-1 ACC - Someone other than Purdue finally beat Pittsburgh. The Panthers had a really bad day in losing 59-41 at Louisville on Thursday night. They did recover to beat lowly Boston College 84-61 at home. They are officially a game behind North Carolina, who is undefeated in ACC play.

New Mexico (RPI: 140, KenPom: 105) - 10-8, 3-2 Mountain West - New Mexico had started Mountain West play strong, but this week lost consecutive games to UNLV (86-74), and Wyoming (70-68). This is a team that could have done so much for Purdue, but has not done well at all.

IUPUI (RPI: 174, KenPom 190) - 8-13, 4-2 Summit League - The Hoosiermakers couldn't get past Oral Roberts, a top 100 team, at home, falling 80-71. They did beat Denver at home on Saturday 76-61 to move to 4-2 in the Summit league. They trail IPFW and Nebraska-Omaha by a half game and go to IPFW this week for the alphabet bowl.

Howard (RPI: 265, KenPom: 262) - 8-10, 2-1 MEAC - Howard had a very strange week. On Monday they were leading Delaware State 41-38 on the road when a clock issue forced the game to be suspended. It will have to be resumed at a later date, making this a game kind of hanging in stasis. The Bison then lost a non-conference game 69-61 at home against Harvard.

Youngstown State (RPI: 236, KenPom: 259) - 7-12 2-4 Horizon League - Youngstown State lost both of its league games this week by at least 20 points. They fell 84-64 at Northern Kentucky and then were lit up at Wright State 81-45. Tonight they host Valparaiso, who is really high in the RPI at No. 21.

Butler (RPI: 46, KenPom: 36) - 13-4, 2-3 Big East - Butler played only once this week, but won 78-58 over St. John's on Saturday during the game where Andrew Smith was honored after his untimely passing. The Bulldogs go to Providence tomorrow night and have a shot at a nice true road win.

Vanderbilt (RPI: 62, KenPom: 28) - 10-7, 2-3 SEC - Here come the Commodores. They swept Auburn (75-57) and Alabama (71-63) to earn their first two conference wins of the season. This week they go to Tennessee and Kentucky and they really could use a pair of wins to get back into the NCAA Tournament discussion.