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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: February 27

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Purdue’s NCAA profile remains strong and we may end up with some good non-conference wins after all.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

We have only played once since last week’s update, but it was a big one. We gained yet another Tier 1 victory with the road win over Nebraska, and it was also the magical 20th win. Getting to 20 regular season wins as a major conference team almost always means inclusion in the NCAA Tournament. Even now, with four games left, there is no way we miss the tournament. Sure, we can lose our seed (likely in the 3-4 range), but there is no way we will be left out on Selection Sunday.

The biggest development is that with last night’s Iowa loss at Ohio State the Hawkeyes slipped to 32 in the NET rankings. Since they are now under the 30 line the home win over them is now considered tier 2 as opposed to tier 1. Obviously, they can still move up, but for now it is a minor hit.

Ohio State, meanwhile, has moved up to 31, so that is right on the edge of a potential Saturday home win being on tier 1. We want OSU and Iowa to do well (aside from this Saturday) so they can move into the top tier. Indiana’s double overtime win over Wisconsin last night likely also solidified their place in the top 75, and thus tier 1 road win status.

Record: 20-7, 13-3 Big Ten

NET: 12 (Identical to last week)

KenPom: 10 (Identical to last week)

Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 4 Michigan State (Home), 12 Wisconsin (Away), 15 Maryland (Home), 31 Ohio State (Away), 42 Nebraska (away), 48 Indiana (Away), 46 Penn State (Away)

Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 42 Nebraska (Home), 48 Indiana (Home), 49 Minnesota (Home), 46 Penn State (Home), 59 Belmont (Home), 72 Davidson (Neutral)

Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 6 Michigan State (Home), 15 Wisconsin (Away), 23 Maryland (Home), 40 Ohio State (Away), 45 Nebraska (Away) 55 Indiana (Away), 59 Penn State (Away)

Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 32 Iowa (Home), 45 Nebraska (Home), 55 Indiana (Home), 60 Minnesota (Home), 67 Davidson (Neutral), 50 Belmont (Home), 59 Penn State (Home)

Bad Losses (sub-100 NET OR KenPom): Notre Dame (Net 103)

Fairfield Stags (8-20, 5-11 MAAC) NET: 293, KenPom: 300 – Fairfield won its only game last week 72-59 over Manhattan, but they enter the final week of MAAC play as avirtual non-entity.

Ball State Cardinals (14-14, 5-10 MAC) NET: 118, KenPom 112 – Ball State dropped a pair of games this last week at home. They lost to Central Michigan 64-57 and Toledo 80-72. Again, this team has been terribly disappointing.

Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-18, 4-10 Sun Belt) NET: 221, KenPom: 209– Another week, two more losses for the Mountaineers. They fell to Georgia State 80-75 and Georgia Southern 92-69.

Davidson Wildcats (20-7, 11-3 Atlantic 10) NET: 67, KenPom: 72 With a 75-66 win at Rhode Island the Wildcats stayed in second place in the Atlantic 10 behind VCU. They should be favored in their last four games, however, and could play their way into an at large bid.

Virginia Tech Hokies (22-6, 11-5 ACC) NET: 11, KenPom: 11 – The Hokies grabbed a huge win over Duke sand Zion Williamson last night 77-72. They also beat Notre Dame over the weekend 67-59 in South Bend.

Robert Morris Colonials (15-14, 10-6 NEC) NET: 259, KenPom: 265 – After a few bad weeks Robert Morris picked up wins over Long island 62-49 and St. Francis (NY) 67-62 to gain some separation in their jumbled conference. They are currently tied for second place and a game behind St. Francis (PA).

Florida State Seminoles (22-6, 10-5 ACC) NET: 26, KenPom: 18 – The Seminoles earned a split last week and stay as a strong NCAA team. They lost 77-59 at North Carolina but beat Notre Dame 68-61 Monday night.

Texas Longhorns (15-12, 7-7 Big 12) NET: 37, KenPom: 27 – Texas has only had one game in the last week, and it was a loss. They fell to Oklahoma 69-67 on the road on Saturday.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-15, 3-12 ACC) NET: 103, KenPom: 89 – Both of the games over the past week for the Irish were covered above, as they lost to both Virginia Tech and Florida State.

Ohio Bobcats (12-15, 4-11 MAC) NET: 203, KenPom: 211 – Ohio also got a split in the past week. They beat Bowling Green 92-87 in overtime but lost to Kent State 78-73 in overtime.

Belmont Bruins (23-4, 14-2 Ohio Valley) NET: 50, KenPom: 59 – Belmont is definitely playing itself into some at large consideration, which is good when they have a tough Murray State team in their conference. They beat Eastern Illinois 99-58 and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 97-72 to move to 14-2 in their league. They are tied with Murray State atop their conference, but own the tiebreaker due to their win at Murray State. With road wins over Tennessee-Martin and SE Missouri State this week they will clinch at least an NIT bid.