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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: December 21

On the eve of Purdue’s last non-conference game let’s see how the rest of out out-of-conference opponents are doing.

NCAA Basketball: Western Illinois at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

We missed out on a chance to boost our profile without even playing last night. Arizona State was competitive with undefeated Creighton before falling in the second half. That would have been a very nice boost, but the Sun Devils couldn’t get it done. Fortunately, Purdue did some work of its own by beating Notre Dame on Saturday. As long as the Irish do well in the ACC that will pay off in the long run.

Purdue Boilermakers Profile:

Record: 10-2

RPI: 38 (41 last week)

KenPom: 12 (12 last week)

Top 50 RPI wins: None

Top 50 KenPom wins: 23 Notre Dame (Neutral Floor)

Bad Losses: None

McNeese State (3-7, 0-0 Southland) – RPI: 228, KenPom: 324 – The Cowboys lost to SMU (92-56), but got a boost for playing a top 50 team. They also lost to North Carolina Central (74-66), but beat Tulane on Monday night at Tulane. They have a chance for a huge win at North Carolina State tomorrow night. The win over Tulane is their only Division I win.

Villanova (11-0, 0-0 Big East) – RPI: 1, KenPom: 1 – Villanova is undefeated and the unquestioned No. 1 team now, as they took over the top spots in the KenPom and RPI. We’re a big reason for that, as they have a shiny true road win against a top 15 team. They haven’t played since beating Temple last Tuesday, but they host American tonight.

Georgia State (6-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) – RPI: 117, KenPom: 149 – The panthers beat Alabama A&M 94-79, but that did nothing as Alabama A&M is the worst RPI team in America. They then suffered a 58-46 loss at Old Dominion, costing them a shot at a top 100 win. Tonight they are at Middle Tennessee State, who is suddenly No. 7 in the RPI.

Utah State (7-4, 0-0 Mountain West) – RPI: 163, KenPom: 138 – The Aggies have played only once in the past week, beating New Orleans 76-66. Tonight they host in-state rival Weber State, who is always a pretty good mid-major team.

Auburn (8-2, 0-0 SEC) – RPI: 64, KenPom: 99 – The Tiger shave reached the top 100 of the KenPom rankings and are officially Purdue’s second best win. That almost didn’t happen, as they barely beat Mercer 76-74. The one-point loss to Boston College last week really stings. The best news for them is the addition of 6’11” 255 pound big man Austin Wiley. Wiley finished high school early and was able to officially enroll last week. He made his debut against Mercer and he was the No. 17 recruit nationally in the 2016 class. Tonight they play Oklahoma in Connecticut, and if Wiley can be a big addition then Purdue’s win is about to get a lot better.

NJIT (5-8, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) – RPI: 241, KenPom: 208 – The Highlanders only played twice in the past week and lost both games. They fell at Iona 94-80 and at Temple 68-63. This is still a decent team that will likely challenge for the Atlantic Sun title.

Louisville (10-1, 0-0 ACC) – RPI: 8, KenPom: 8 – The Cardinals blasted Eastern Kentucky 87-56 on Saturday, but their big game is at home tonight when they host rival Kentucky. Either result for them will not really hurt Purdue.

Morehead State (3-8, 0-0 OVC) – RPI: 281, KenPom: 218 – Remember the coach that was accused of assaulting his players? Yeah, he got fired last week. As a result, Morehead State lost to East Tennessee State and the remnants of The Movement 78-68. Yes, ETSU has Hanner Mosquera-Perea and (my favorite name) Peter Jurkin. Morehead did win its Monday game this week 111-85 over Central Arkansas.

Arizona State (6-6, 0-0 Pac-12) – RPI: 120, KenPom: 105 – As good as winning at San Diego state was for the Sun Devils they have followed it up with a pair of 11 point losses at home. They dropped an 81-70 game at home to New Mexico State and last night Creighton rallied for a 96-85 win. Right now it is Pac-12 play or bust, as this team went 0-6 against the top 100.

Cleveland State (4-7, 0-0 Horizon League) – RPI: 188, KenPom: 229– The Vikings earned a split within the past week. They lost at Ohio 71-53, but picked up a non-Division I win over Lake Erie College 79-62.

Notre Dame (10-2, 0-0 ACC) – RPI: 52, KenPom: 23 – The Irish saw their RPI briefly dip under 50, but that will change once they get into ACC play. Monday night they beat Colgate 77-62 and they host St. Peter’s next week for their final non-conference game.

Western Illinois (3-8, 0-0 Summit League) – RPI: 337, KenPom 307 – Just by playing Purdue, Western saw its RPI go up, but don’t expect much out of them the rest of the year. They open Summit League play next Thursday at Fort Wayne before coming back down I-69 to play IUPUI.

Norfolk State (3-9, 0-0 MEAC) – RPI: 280, KenPom: 306 – As mentioned earlier today, Norfolk got its first Division I win of the season against Eastern Kentucky on Monday night. Purdue is, by far, their toughest remaining game.