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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: February 8

Even in a loss Purdue's profile is slightly better this week.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue only played once last week, but its overall NCAA profile didn't really change much. That's what happens when your only game is a competitive loss on the road to a top 5 team. A victory could have seen Purdue jump up a seed line or two. Instead, Purdue stays in the 4-5 range and still has a chance to get into the 3-4 discussion. If it wins out and wins the Big Ten Tournament then a two seed might be possible, but getting into the 3-4 range is still very plausible.

Is that really a bad place to be? Purdue would be favored in its first two games in March. There is a good chance it can play relatively close to home in St. Louis if it gets a 3 seed. It would avoid a No. 1 seed until the last possible moment too. With the Big Ten likely gone it is about an NCAA seed at this point, starting with a big game Tuesday night against Michigan State that likely will decide if the boilers or Spartans will get one of the four double byes in Indianapolis.

RPI: 22 (Up 3 from last week)

KenPom: 15 (Down 2 from last week)

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

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

Bad losses: at Illinois (RPI 140, KenPom 132)

North Carolina A&T (RPI: 338, KenPom: 329) - 7-18, 4-6 MEAC - The Aggies won a game! They had a midweek non-conference loss to Charlotte 92-72, but beat North Carolina Central 67-63 in conference play on Saturday.

Vermont (RPI: 158, KenPom: 175) - 14-11, 6-4 America East - Vermont split their two games this past week. On Wednesday they beat Maine 85-68, but fell over the weekend at Albany 75-71. They appear to be headed to a top 4 seed in the America east Tourney, but Stony Brook and Albany are the pretty clear favorites to win this league.

Incarnate Word (RPI: 192, KenPom: 200) 12-8, 7-2 Southland - Incarnate Word could possibly be a regular season conference title winner. They are two games behind Stephen F. Austin and still play them twice in the Southland. This week they won two more games with a 70-65 win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a 74-71 win over Lamar.

Old Dominion (RPI: 151, KenPom: 119) - 13-10, 6-4 Conference USA - The Monarchs only played once this week. They beat Charlotte 74-69 over the weekend and are now 6-4 in a very week Conference USA. That is good for 4th place.

Florida (RPI: 21, KenPom: 28) - 15-8, 6-4 SEC - Florida did nothing to detract from their resume as a solid NCAA Tournament team. They beat Arkansas 87-83, but lost 80-61 at Kentucky. This week has two home games against Mississippi and Alabama.

Lehigh (RPI: 235, KenPom: 218) - 8-14, 6-5 Patriot League - Lehigh got onto the positive side of .500 in the weak Patriot League with two wins this week. They beat Loyola (MD) 71-66 and American 72-49 to get into the mess that is the Patriot League behind Bucknell. A total of five teams have five losses in a jumbled second place mass.

Pittsburgh (RPI: 43, KenPom: 55) - 18-5, 7-4 ACC - Pittsburgh dropped out of the top 50 in the KenPom rankings and is barely hanging on in the top 50 of the RPI. They beat Virginia tech 90-71 but could not defend home court against Virginia in a 64-50 loss. This week is brutal with trips to Miami and North Carolina.

New Mexico (RPI: 112, KenPom: 100) - 14-9, 7-3 Mountain West - A close 78-71 loss at San Diego State on Saturday prevented the Lobos from moving into the top 100 of the RPI. They are still just barely there at No. 100 on the KenPom rankings. Earlier in the week they avenged a road loss at UNLV by beating them in Albuquerque 87-83. A strong finish in mountain West play makes this a critical top 100 non-conference win.

IUPUI (RPI: 160, KenPom 188) - 11-15, 7-4 Summit League - Just when it looked like the Jags were going to make some noise they fell apart. After four straight wins they lost 53-51 at Denver and 80-58 at South Dakota State. That knocked them to third in the Summit League from first place.

Howard (RPI: 318, KenPom: 309) - 10-13, 3-4 MEAC - When you lose twice in the MEAC it leads to a huge fall. Howard lost 85-67 at Maryland-eastern Shore and at home 99-92 Norfolk State to see them  fall below .500 in the MEAC.

Youngstown State (RPI: 246, KenPom: 256) - 9-16, 4-8 Horizon League - The Penguins dropped a pair of home games this week while giving up 201 total pints. Oakland beat them 107-85 in Youngstown, then Detroit came in and won a close one 94-92.

Butler (RPI: 68, KenPom: 48) - 16-7, 5-6 Big East - This was the best week in a while for Butler. They actually won both games with an 87-76 home win over perpetually overrated Georgetown before going to St. John's and winning 89-56. This Saturday is a huge game with Xavier coming to Indianapolis.

Vanderbilt (RPI: 58, KenPom: 35) - 13-10, 5-5 SEC - The Commodores continue to be schizophrenic. On Thursday they got a huge home win over Texas A&M 77-60, knocking the Aggies from first place in the SEC. they followed it up with a road stinkbomb of 85-78 at Mississippi. This team has been just awful on the road, going 1-7 in true road games with losses at Baylor, Purdue, Kentucky, and Texas all in the top 30.

Possible NCAA at large teams: Vanderbilt, Florida, Pittsburgh, Butler

Possible auto-bid winners: New Mexico, IUPUI, Vermont