The 2020 Women’s Big Ten Tournament starts a month from today (March 4th-8th) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Let’s take a look at the resume Purdue has put together this season.
Purdue is firmly in the field for the NCAA Tournament at the moment as a 10 seed per ESPN’s Charlie Creme’s latest Bracketology rankings. After losing Monday night against Indiana, the Boilermakers currently sit at 15-8 overall on the season and 6-5 during conference play. Just how safe is the team though? Sharon Versyp will need to string together some wins down the stretch and have the opportunity to get some quality victories.
Record: 15-8 overall, 6-5 Big Ten
Quad 1 Record: (4-7) wins against: Drake (RPI: 28), Arizona State (RPI: 31), @ Ohio State (RPI: 27), Western Kentucky (RPI: 32)
Quad 2 Record: (2-1) wins against: @ Nebraska (RPI: 73), @ Michigan State (RPI: 100)
Quad 3 Record: (5-0) wins against: Wisconsin (RPI: 112), Kent State (RPI: 113), Illinois (RPI: 162), Northern Illinois (RPI: 185), Penn State (RPI: 190)
Quad 4 Record: (4-0) wins against: Western Illinois (RPI: 215), @ Chattanooga (RPI: 231), Bowling Green (RPI: 231), Milwaukee (RPI: 242)
Future opponents: @ Michigan (RPI: 40), Iowa (RPI: 12), @ Wisconsin (RPI: 113), @ Illinois (RPI: 156), Michigan State (RPI: 101), @ Maryland (RPI: 8), Ohio State (RPI: 27)
Purdue has losses against some of the best teams in the country, losing to Gonzaga, South Carolina, Indiana 2x and Northwestern. With only one loss coming outside of Quad 1 in Minnesota who is just 4-7 during conference play, the Boilermakers do not have any bad losses this season while having the 13th hardest schedule in the country.
They have impressive wins over four teams currently in the projected tournament field, and an additional two wins over teams within the bubble and closing in on sneaking into the last four in. Purdue has the opportunity to increase that number with five games down the stretch who figure to be in as well.
Karissa McLaughlin and company has an interesting schedule coming up with Michigan and Iowa in their next two. These two teams will boost the Boilermakers resume if they were to pick up a couple of wins. After that, Purdue has three very winnable games in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State all three of which the Boilers have already beaten this year and have a combined record of 32-33. It is very important that Purdue takes care of business against these teams as their last two games of the season come on the road against Maryland and a home battle against Ohio State.
Even in the season’s struggles at some points, with 15 wins already and four of them coming against solid competition in a stiff Big Ten conference, Sharon Versyp has placed the Boilermakers in solid position to grab an at-large bid in March Madness. If the team can secure four or five wins in their last 7 they will easily get into the NCAA Tournament and could possibly rise to as high as a 7 or 8 seed.