This week will probably put the final touches on our case for a No. 1 seed. Ohio State and Michigan State represent the last chances in the regular season to grab elusive tier 1 wins. Purdue could use at least one, too, because a couple of our victories have dropped slightly in value. Louisville’s current 3-game losing streak has knocked them to 42 in the RPI, putting them into tier 2. Michigan’s loss at Northwestern last night moved them from 31 to 39. A win would have had BOTH the home and away games counting as tier 1. Since they are still below the 30 line only the road victory is on the top tier.
In terms of getting a No. 1 seed Purdue is probably fine with a split in this week’s two big games and wins in the final 4 Big Ten games. I don’t think the Big Ten Tournament itself with have much effect unless we have a bad first game loss there. A win tonight over Ohio State puts Purdue two games in front of the entire league with five to play, which is excellent.
Purdue Boilermakers Profile
Record: 23-2, 12-0 Big Ten
RPI: 9 (Down 1 from last week)
KenPom: 3 (Down 1 from last week)
Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 21 Butler (neutral), 22 Arizona (neutral), 31 Michigan (away), 39 Maryland (away), 50 Marquette (away)
Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 31 Michigan (home), 37 Louisville (home), 39 Maryland (home), 57 Nebraska (home), 72 Northwestern (home), 80 Indiana (away), 93 Minnesota (away),
Tier 1 Wins (RPI) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 15 Arizona (neutral), 39 Michigan (away), 33 Butler (neutral), 58 Maryland (away), 61 Marquette (away)
Tier 2: Home 31-75 (RPI) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 39 Michigan (home), 42 Louisville (home), 54 Nebraska (home), 58 Maryland (home), 109 Indiana (away), 126 Minnesota (away)
Bad Losses (sub-100 RPI OR KenPom): None
SIU-Edwardsville Cougars (8-15, 4-8 Ohio Valley) RPI: 254, KenPom: 318 – Edwardsville saw its losing streak reach five games with a 68-67 home loss to Tennessee Tech, but they recovered to beat Jacksonville State 75-67 on Saturday.
Chicago State Cougars (2-23, 0-8 WAC) RPI: 332, KenPom: 348 – Chicago State still does not have a victory over a Division I program. They went out west this past week and lost at Call-Bakersfield 91-61 and Grand Canyon 89-55.
Marquette Golden Eagles (13-10, 4-7 Big East) RPI: 61, KenPom: 50 – The Golden Eagles are slipping. They have now lost four in a row after coming close against Villanova, but losing 85-82. Butler (92-72) and Providence (77-75) also beat them, so they are now on the bad side of the Bubble with three straight home losses. They could really use a big win tonight at Seton Hall.
Fairfield Stags (10-13, 5-7 MAAC) RPI: 196, KenPom: 203 – Fairfield has now won three in a row. They won at Monmouth 79-78 on Friday and beat Siena 78-65 on Monday to get just a little closer to .500 overall.
Tennessee Volunteers (18-5, 8-3 SEC) RPI: 10, KenPom: 7 – Tennessee had a very successful week of three more wins after beating Kentucky 61-59 in Rupp Arena last night. They also beat LSU 84-61 and Ole Miss 94-61. They sit in second place in the SEC and have a very good chance at earning a top 4 protected seed in Nashville.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (16-7, 8-2 Conference USA) RPI: 50, KenPom: 55 – The at large hopes of WKU took a big blow this week. They won at UTEP 72-60, but were upset 74-63 at Texas-San Antonio to fall off the pace in Conference USA. They still have a huge game at Middle Tennessee coming up, but it may be a must-win now.
Arizona Wildcats (19-5, 9-2 Pac-12) RPI: 15, KenPom: 22 – The Wildcats could not get the sweep of the Washington schools. They beat Washington State 100-72, but fell 78-75 at Washington. Wins over the Southern California schools this weekend at home would go a long way towards clinching the Pac-12 title for them, however.
Louisville Cardinals (16-8, 6-5 ACC) RPI: 42, KenPom: 37 – The Cardinals gave Virginia a bit of a game last Wednesday night, but fell 74-64. That stumbled turned into a very bad week as they then lost at home to Florida State 80-76 and Syracuse 78-73. That ended any hopes of an ACC title, as they were in 2nd place before all that.
Valparaiso Crusaders (12-13, 3-9 MVC) RPI: 188, KenPom: 172 – Valparaiso at least moved ahead of Indiana in the state rankings by successfully beating Indiana State 69-63. They then lost at Southern Illinois 65-59.
IUPUI Jaguars (7-16, 4-8 Horizon League) RPI: 316, KenPom: 311 – The first year in the Horizon League had not been kind to the Jags. They lost at Detroit 74-60 and Oakland 82-74 this week.
Butler Bulldogs (17-8, 7-5 Big East) RPI: 33, KenPom: 21 – The Bulldogs almost made it a 3-0 week last night. They beat Marquette 92-72 in Milwaukee last Wednesday and DePaul 80-57 over the weekend. They were able to recover from a big deficit and force overtime against No. 5 Xavier last night, but lost 98-93.
Tennessee St. Tigers (12-11, 7-5 Ohio Valley) RPI: 187, KenPom: 204 – Tennessee State has now won four in a row and is over .500 overall for the first time since November. They beat Morehead State 61-58 and Eastern Kentucky 73-60, but are still four games behind Belmont in their conference.
Lipscomb Bisons (15-9, 5-4 Atlantic Sun) RPI: 116, KenPom: 184 – So much for being the Atlantic Sun favorite. After entering conference play with a very good RPI they are now 5-4. They lost at home to lowly NJIT 81-77 this week and are in third place, four games behind Florida Gulf Coast.