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Non-Conference Opponents Update: December 14

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Purdue’s non-conference slate has a good mix of good teams and cupcakes.

NCAA Basketball: Cleveland State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It is finals week for most of the country, so there has not been a lot of movement with our non-conference profile. Almost everyone is off until the weekend, where Purdue will need to get the marquee non-conference win it has been seeking for a while. There were still some decent games this past weekend, so let’s see where everyone is.

Purdue Boilermakers Profile:

Record: 8-2

RPI: 41

KenPom: 12

Top 50 RPI wins: None

Top 50 KenPom wins: None

Bad Losses: None

McNeese State (2-5, 0-0 Southland) – RPI: 278, KenPom: 329 – McNeese State has not played since December 3rd, but plays at SMU tonight.

Villanova (11-0, 0-0 Big East) – RPI: 2, KenPom: 2 – The Wildcats are still perfect after winning another Philly Big 5 game last night over Temple 78-57. Over the weekend they grabbed another solid win with a 74-66 win over Notre Dame. Of their 11 wins, 7 are against teams in the top 65 of the RPI, so they have played a ridiculously hard scheduled and they are still No. 1.

Georgia State (5-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) – RPI: 59, KenPom: 136 – Georgia State got a non-D1 win over Georgia Southwestern State, but they have played very little. Tonight they host one of the worst Division I teams in the country in Alabama A&M.

Utah State (6-4, 0-0 Mountain West) – RPI: 141, KenPom: 139 – The Aggies moved up almost 60 spots in the RPI this week after a road win at Utah Valley State. By hosting New Orleans and Weber State they should head into their conference slate at 8-4.

Auburn (7-2, 0-0 SEC) – RPI: 54, KenPom: 108 – Auburn took a pretty big hit this week with a neutral court loss to Boston College 72-71 in New York. Boston College has losses to Nicholls State, Harvard, and Hartford, so that was a pretty bad loss for the Tigers. It dropped them out of the RPI top 50 as well.

NJIT (5-6, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) – RPI: 237, KenPom: 218 – NJIT has only played once since the last update, and it was an 87-71 loss at Kent State. Tonight they head to Iona, a team rated in the RPI top 100, so a victory here would also help Purdue.

Louisville (9-1, 0-0 ACC) – RPI: 10, KenPom: 7 – Louisville grabbed a pair of wins since last week. On Wednesday they beat Southern Illinois 74-51. Then on Saturday they got a home win over Texas Southern 102-71. They host Eastern Kentucky this weekend before a huge in-state game with Kentucky, followed by Virginia and Indiana.

Morehead State (2-7, 0-0 OVC) – RPI: 300, KenPom: 225 – The bad: Morehead State lost to Lipscomb 98-84 and Eastern Washington 88-86, both on the road. The worse: Their head coach is facing criminal charges in Indiana for allegedly assaulting two players during a game at Evansville in November.

Arizona State (6-4, 0-0 Pac-12) – RPI: 105, KenPom: 87 – The ass-kicking handed out by Purdue to the Sun Devils seems to have set them straight. They followed that up with a very nice road win at San Diego State 74-63 on Saturday. Their next two home games are against New Mexico State and Creighton, both potential tournament teams. If they can win both that will help Purdue’s profile.

Cleveland State (3-6, 0-0 Horizon League) – RPI: 190, KenPom: 224 – The Vikings beat Western Michigan last Wednesday night, but Purdue got past them quite easily on Saturday. It was still enough to raise their RPI into the top 200.

Notre Dame (9-1, 0-0 ACC) – RPI: 31, KenPom: 24 – Notre Dame held the lead for most of Saturday’s game against Villanova, but eventually lost by 8 to the Wildcats 74-66. Their game against Purdue is huge for the Boilermakers in terms of getting a good non-conference win. Their RPI will stay up by playing in the ACC, but the 9-0 start was impressive.

Western Illinois (2-7, 0-0 Summit League) – RPI: 350, KenPom 321 – Western Illinois is one of the worst teams in the country per the computers. Their RPI is at 350 out of 351 teams, ahead of only Alabama A&M. This past week they lost to Eastern Illinois 63-49

Norfolk State (2-8, 0-0 MEAC) – RPI: 301, KenPom: 309 – Norfolk State still does not have a Division I win. They lost at Niagara 65-61 for their only game this week, and they come to Indiana tonight to play at Evansville.