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Non-Conference Opponents Update: March 13

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Purdue is aiming for a three seed, but still has work to do to lock it up.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Northwestern Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the final one of this series of posts. Selection Sunday is just a few days away and Purdue’s profile is excellent. We’re 7-7 against Tier 1 with the possibility to add up to three more wins in Chicago to that total. Against tier 2 we’re a spotless 9-0, which only adds to our profile.

In terms of seeding, Bracket Matrix has Purdue as a consensus 3 seed, but as the final 3 seed. To me, this is what we really need to watch at the moment. Our performance against No. 1 seeds historically has been very poor. Purdue has lost to a No. 1 seed all six times it has played one in NCAA history. By being a 3 seed we guarantee not having to play one until the last possible moment, thus increasing the chances someone else does our dirty work for us.

Bracket Matrix has Kansas, Florida State, Wisconsin, and Kansas State as the four 4 seeds just behind us. A past for, Texas, can help us and themselves by beating Kansas in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament. Florida State is dangerous because they can play their way up and they have a win over us. Wisconsin probably needs to win the Big Ten Tournament in order to move up, while Kansas State has a Big 12 regular season title to its credit, but still needs a good showing in the league tournament.

Of course, Purdue can help itself. If we can pick our first opponent we would actually do well to choose Penn State. Though the Nittany Lions are 14-17, they are currently 49th in the NET rankings and would move up with a win over No. 56 Minnesota. Since the game would occur on a neutral court, it would be a tier 1 victory. A chance at Michigan (a projected 2 seed) would also help in the semifinals.

I think we’re okay for a 3 seed with just one win in Chicago, while two makes it almost certain. Would a Big Ten Tournament title with wins over Michigan and Michigan State move us all the way to a 2 seed? That would potentially give us 10 tier 1 victories, which would be among the most in the nation. Michigan State and Virginia each have 11 while Kentucky and Kansas have 10.

Record: 23-8, 16-4 Big Ten (Regular Season Champion)

NET: 12 (Down one from last week)

KenPom: 10 (Identical to last week)

Tier 1 NET record: 7-7

Tier 2 NET record: 9-0

Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 4 Michigan State (Home), 12 Wisconsin (Away), 20 Maryland (Home), 40 Penn State (Away), 42 Indiana (Away), 44 Ohio State (Away), 45 Nebraska (Away), 70 Northwestern (Away)

Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 40 Penn State (Home), 41 Iowa (Home), 42 Indiana (Home), 44 Ohio State (Home), 45 Nebraska (Home), 53 Belmont (Home), 72 Davidson (Neutral),

Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 8 Michigan State (Home), 15 Wisconsin (Away), 26 Maryland (Home), 49 Penn State (Away), 51 Indiana (Away), 52 Nebraska (Away), 55 Ohio State (Away)

Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 42 Iowa (Home), 45 Belmont (Home), 49 Penn State (Home), 51 Indiana (Home), 52 Nebraska (Home), 55 Ohio State (Home), 56 Minnesota (Home), 68 Davidson (Neutral), 88 Northwestern (Home)

Bad Losses (sub-100 NET OR KenPom): Notre Dame (Net 110)

Fairfield Stags (9-22, 6-12 MAAC) NET: 293, KenPom: 302 – Fairfield fell in their opening MAAC Tournament game 57-53 to Manhattan. SEASON COMPLETE

Ball State Cardinals (16-16, 6-12 MAC) NET: 122, KenPom 121 – Ball State lost its final regular season game 64-57 to Northern Illinois, but won its first MAC Tournament game at Eastern Michigan 61-43. They get Bowling Green next in the quarterfinals in Cleveland.

Appalachian State Mountaineers (11-21, 6-12 Sun Belt) NET: 214, KenPom: 209 – App. State beat Troy 72-64 and lost to South Alabama 78-71 to close league play at 6-12. They were then eliminated in the Sun Belt Tournament by Louisiana Monroe 89-80. SEASON COMPLETE

Davidson Wildcats (23-8, 14-4 Atlantic 10) NET: 68, KenPom: 72 – The Wildcats beat St. Bonaventure 64-46 and Richmond 73-69 to earn the 2 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. They will play their first game on Friday.

Virginia Tech Hokies (23-7, 12-6 ACC) NET: 12, KenPom: 11 – The Hokies closed the regular season with an 84-70 win over Miami and they will run that back today in the Second Round of the ACC Tournament.

Robert Morris Colonials (17-16, 11-7 NEC) NET: 266, KenPom: 269 – The Colonials won a game in the NEC Tournament, beating St. Francis (NY) 69-65. They were then eliminated in the semifinals by Fairleigh Dickenson 66-62. Fairleigh Dickenson then won the automatic bid last night. SEASON COMPLETE

Florida State Seminoles (25-6, 13-5 ACC) NET: 19, KenPom: 15 – A 65-57 win over Wake Forest last week gave the Seminoles a fourth place finish in the ACC. They will play tomorrow in the quarterfinals against the winner of Virginia Tech and Miami.

Texas Longhorns (16-15, 8-10 Big 12) NET: 39, KenPom: 27 – A 69-56 loss to TCU last week set up what could be the most farcical at large bids in NCAA history. Texas now needs to beat Kansas in the Big 12 tourney just to stay above .500 overall, yet the ridiculously strong computer numbers still have them on the Bubble. If they get in ahead of the like of Belmont or even Indiana at 16-16 it would be a joke.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-18, 3-15 ACC) NET: 110, KenPom: 86 – How bad of a season has it been for Notre Dame? They lost to Clemson 64-62 and Pittsburgh 56-53 to finish dead last in the ACC. They have just two wins against Quads 1 & 2 combined: over Purdue and at Boston College. Still, they are alive in the ACC Tournament after beating Georgia Tech 78-71 yesterday. They play Louisville today.

Ohio Bobcats (14-17, 6-12 MAC) NET: 176, KenPom: 183 – Ohio beat Miami (OH) in its final regular season game 66-57, but has already been eliminated from the MAC Tournament by Northern Illinois 80-61. SEASON COMPLETE

Belmont Bruins (26-5, 16-2 Ohio Valley) NET: 45, KenPom: 53 – And so, they wait. Belmont reached the OVC title game with an 83-67 win over Austin Peay, but lost to Murray State 77-65 in a rematch of their regular season game. Do they get an at large bid now? They are 2-2 against tier 1, beating Lipscomb and Murray State on the road but losing at Purdue and to Murray State on a neutral floor. They are 3-1 against tier 2, losing to Jacksonville State but beating Lipscomb again at home while winning at Austin Peay and UCLA. Their sheer volume of wins is impressive, but getting swept in two games by Jacksonville State doesn’t help. They will be close, but they are wanting teams like Indiana to lose this week. St. Mary’s taking an auto bid and forcing Gonzaga to take an at large doesn’t help them, either. They are right on the line. As the regular season champion of the OVC they do have an automatic NIT bid, but that would be bitter consolation.