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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: December 19

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Purdue’s NCAA profile can get a major boost with a win on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Because we had all of the signing day content yesterday this was pushed back until today, but overall Purdue’s profile has a lot of additions this week. First off, we now have the NET rankings to use. Second, Purdue now has a “bad” loss. That is in quotations because we don’t know where Nebraska will end up. Last season Notre Dame was the worst loss and they finished just inside the top 100. Nebraska has time to improve, but the loss stings even more because it was a Big Ten loss. Had Purdue not botched Sunday’s game they would be in an early tie for the conference lead with Michigan State, who was the only team to navigate the early conference games at 2-0.

In terms of the overall NCAA profile, Purdue has the wins it needs in the non-conference for a solid profile, and it can get another excellent one in two days over Butler. Virginia, VCU, and (potentially) Butler is better than anything Purdue had in last year’s non-conference. Now it is just time to take care of business during what will be a wild conference season.

Purdue Boilermakers Profile

Record: 7-4, 1-1 Big Ten

NET: 37

KenPom: 9

Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 12 Virginia (home), 45 VCU (neutral)

Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: None

Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 50 VCU (neutral)

Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 36 Virginia (home)

Bad Losses (sub-100 NET OR KenPom): at Nebraska (151 NET, 129 KenPom)

Green Bay Phoenix (4-8, 0-0 Horizon League) – NET: 253, KenPom: 216 – Green Bay lost at Evansville 72-62, but picked up a win last night. Unfortunately, it was against Concordia (IL), so it was a do nothing non-Division I win. They are at Northern Illinois

Texas Longhorns (9-1, 0-0 Big 12) – NET: 43, KenPom: 48 – The Longhorns beat Central Michigan 87-76 over the weekend and have an interesting road game at Providence this Saturday. The computer numbers don’t love them as much as I thought they would at this point, but 9-1 is still really good. They will likely be an NCAA team with a very good non-conference road win at Purdue in their favor.

Marquette Golden Eagles (8-2, 0-0 Big East) – NET: 52, KenPom: 27 – Marquette had a very easy 93-72 win over Grambling State on Tuesday, which won’t do a lot. They have a couple of easier games against North Dakota State and Central Arkansas before opening Big East play at Creighton.

Chicago State Cougars (4-8, 0-0 WAC) – NET: 346, KenPom: 352 – Yes, the Cougars are still terrible, but they are at least not “worst team in Division I” terrible. They lost at home to Oral Roberts 97-56 in what was their first home game in a month on Tuesday. Tonight they host Northern Illinois.

Jacksonville St. Gamecocks (4-7, 0-0 Ohio Valley) – NET: 262, KenPom: 248 – Jacksonville State added a pair of wins since we last checked on them. They beat Evansville 85-59 (The same Evansville that beat Kentucky) and Delaware State 92-80. They are at Tennessee on Saturday.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams (7-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10) – NET: 50, KenPom: 45 – Technically, this is Purdue’s only tier 1 win according to the NET rankings, but that will change as Virginia’s rating improves. The fact it was on a neutral floor helps, and it is Purdue’s best win away from Mackey at the moment. On Sunday they beat Missouri State 61-51 before winning at Charleston 76-71 last night. They can get an excellent road win (and help us) by beating Wichita State on Saturday.

Florida State Seminoles (9-2, 1-1 ACC) – NET: 25, KenPom: 16 – North Florida pushed the Seminoles slightly this week, but FSU won at home 98-81. This is going to feel like a missed chance all year because unlike Texas and Marquette, Purdue was a possession away and had multiple chances to win it late, but didn’t. it would be a great win right now.

Virginia Cavaliers (9-1, 1-0 ACC) – NET: 36, KenPom: 12 – The NET rankings don’t like Virginia yet, but they will be fine in the long run. This is going to be an excellent win once Virginia gets into ACC play and starts climbing up the computer rankings. This week they smothered Stony Brook 56-44 and they host South Carolina on Sunday. Only Purdue and Vermont have even cracked 50 points on them, and only Purdue has cracked 60.

Ohio Bobcats (7-4, 0-0 MAC) – NET: 140, KenPom: 177– Purdue’s best case scenario is if Ohio can get into the top 135 of the NET rankings, because that would make it a tier 2 win since it was on the road. There are not a lot of chances for defining wins on their schedule, so they will have to get there by sheer volume of wins. If they could go out and win the MAC that would be great.

Butler Bulldogs (10-1, 0-0 Big East) – NET: 4, KenPom: 10 – The Bulldogs beat Southern 66-41 on Saturday, but this is a golden opportunity for a great win for Purdue. It would be Purdue’s best so far according to the current computer rankings. Purdue would only have a better chance against Ohio State (No. 3 in the NET) and against the Buckeyes, Michigan State, and Maryland according to KenPom. The Bulldogs are really good though and have great wins over Minnesota, at Ole Miss, Florida, Stanford, and Missouri.

Central Michigan Chippewas (7-5, 0-0 MAC) – NET: 230, KenPom: 193 – The Chips have now lost three in a row after losing at Texas and at Robert Morris (83-79). Like Ohio, there are not a lot of chances for good wins coming up in MAC play.