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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: March 6

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Norfolk State and Georgia State could help Purdue a little this week.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia State at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

This will likely be the final one of these for the season. Many of our non-conference opponents are already done, as they have been eliminated from their respective conference tournaments. A few have a chance to earn their league’s automatic bid, which would be a nice little boost to our profile. Villanova, Louisville, and Notre Dame, are, of course, locks for the NCAA Tournament.

Purdue Boilermakers Profile:

Record: 25-6, 14-4 Big Ten (Regular Season Champion)

RPI: 19 (20 last week)

KenPom: 14 (12 last week)

Top 50 RPI wins: 38 Wisconsin, at 24 Maryland, 25 Notre Dame (Neutral Floor), at 49 Michigan State, 49 Michigan State

Keep an eye on: Northwestern, who is currently at 54 in the RPI. A win or two in the Big Ten Tournament can bring them back into the top 50, and Purdue did beat them twice. Illinois is at 58, but likely cannot get above 50 unless it beats Michigan and Purdue this week.

Top 50 KenPom wins: 22 Wisconsin, 26 Notre Dame (Neutral Floor), 37 Northwestern, at 37 Northwestern, at 38 Maryland, at 46 Indiana, 46 Indiana, at 50 Michigan State, 50 Michigan State

Bad Losses (sub-100 RPI OR KenPom): None

McNeese State (7-20, 4-12 Southland) – RPI: 316, KenPom: 318 – SEASON COMPLETE. McNeese State failed to qualify for the Southland Tournament

Villanova (28-3, 15-3 Big East) – RPI: 1, KenPom: 2 – Villanova closed the regular season with an easy 81-55 win over Georgetown on the road. They will be the No. 1 seed in the Big East Tournament, playing either Georgetown or St. John’s on Thursday at noon. They would not mean Butler until the final, and Villanova likely has a No. 1 seed to the NCAAs locked up.

Georgia State (19-11, 12-6 Sun Belt) – RPI: 112, KenPom: 122 – Georgia State beat Georgia Southern 72-67 in the regular season finale and will be the No. 2 seed in this week’s Sun Belt Tournament. Texas-Arlington is the favorite and is good enough to get an at large bid from the conference. Georgia State will play the winner between Louisiana-Lafayette and Little Rock on Friday night. A run to the finals might get Georgia State into the top 100 for us.

Utah State (14-16, 7-11 Mountain West) – RPI: 192, KenPom: 145 – Utah State lost its regular season finale 66-59 at UNLV, giving them the 8 seed in the Mountain West tournament. They will open against San Jose State tomorrow in the first game in Las Vegas.

Auburn (18-13, 7-11 SEC) – RPI: 94, KenPom: 79 – The Tigers lost a heartbreaker 79-78 at Georgia before beating Missouri 89-78 in the regular season finale. As long as they don’t lose the SEC Tournament opener to the same awful Missouri team they should stay in the top 100. They are the 11 seed in the SEC’s 11/14 game tomorrow.

NJIT (11-20, 2-12 Atlantic Sun) – RPI: 291, KenPom: 282 – SEASON COMPLETE

Louisville (24-7, 12-6 ACC) – RPI: 3, KenPom: 8 – We really could have used Notre Dame beating Louisville last week. After losing 88-81 at Wake Forest the Cardinals came home and beat the Irish 71-64. A win would not only have made our win over Notre dame look better, it would have caused Louisville to potentially slip past us for a spot in Indy. Louisville gets the 4 seed in the ACC Tournament and a double bye to face the Duke/Clemson/NC State winner.

Morehead State (14-15, 10-6 OVC) – RPI: 200, KenPom: 204 – The Eagles lost in the first round of the OVC tournament 75-69 to Murray State to close their season. SEASON COMPLETE

Arizona State (14-17, 7-11 Pac-12) – RPI: 137, KenPom: 130 – Arizona State lost its regular season finale to Arizona 73-60 and will be the No. 8 seed in the Pac 12 tournament. They open that tournament tomorrow against Stanford in Las Vegas.

Cleveland State (9-22, 5-13 Horizon League) – RPI: 260, KenPom: 244 – the Vikings lasted one game in the Horizon League tournament, losing to Youngstown State 84-69 just 6 days after beating the Penguins by 14. SEASON COMPLETE

Notre Dame (23-8, 12-6 ACC) – RPI: 25, KenPom: 26 – Notre Dame is the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament and had a chance to win the league before splitting last week. They beat Boston College 82-66, but lost at Louisville 71-64. They will have a double-bye and will play on Thursday in the ACC tournament against Virginia, Georgia Tech, or Pittsburgh.

Western Illinois (8-20, 5-11 Summit League) – RPI: 325, KenPom 297 – They pushed No. 1 seed South Dakota to overtime in the Summit League Tournament, but lost 78-69. SEASON COMPLETE

Norfolk State (15-15, 12-4 MEAC) – RPI: 256, KenPom: 300 – The Spartans earned the No. 2 seed in the MEAC Tournament and they will open play tomorrow night between the winner of South Carolina State and Florida A&M. They beat both in recent weeks, and North Carolina Central has the No. 1 seed.

What helps Purdue the most this week?

Purdue could use Georgia State and Norfolk State winning their respective tournaments as No. 2 seeds. A decent run by Auburn and Arizona State to the semifinals would help. Notre Dame making a deep run in the ACC Tournament and Louisville falling early (for NCAA seeding purposes) have our interest in Brooklyn.