Even with last week’s loss to Michigan at home, Purdue is fine. The goal in the Big Ten is to defend home court as best you can and try to steal a few on the road. Ideally, you get all 10 home games and 5-6 on the road to be in contention for the league title. If you are a team like Purdue, where the conference title is probably out of reach, but you’re trying to get to the NCAA Tournament, it is best to make sure you win more games on the road than you lose at home. That keeps you above .500 in the league, which is normally enough to make the show and this year will almost certainly be enough. This year Purdue has three road conference wins against just one home loss at the halfway point. That has us +2 in the “road wins minus home losses” metric.
There is also this fun little stat that was tweeted out yesterday. 13 of Purdue’s 17 games this year are against the top two tiers in the NET rankings, the most in the country. Purdue also has eight wins against the top two tiers, most in the country. When you consider that Miami’s struggles have knocked them all the way to tier 3 as a major conference true road game, that is astounding.
It certainly looks like Purdue will be fine on Selection Sunday with four more wins. Given that we have two against Nebraska (allegedly), one at home against Northwestern, a trip to Penn State, and a home game against Matt Painter’s personal whipping boy in Archie Miller and Indiana, there is more than enough opportunity. I think Purdue has a legit chance in every game left, with the toughest coming at Minnesota.
Barring a collapse, we’ll be fine.
Purdue Boilermakers Profile
Record: 11-6, 6-4 Big Ten
NET: 30 The same as last week.
KenPom: 29 Down 5 from last week.
Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 46 Penn State (Home), 41 Maryland (Home), 78 Notre Dame (Neutral)
Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 17 Ohio State (Home), 17 Ohio State (Away), 48 Indiana (Away)
Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 39 Penn State (Home), 37 Maryland (Home), 89 Liberty (Neutral), 84 Michigan State (Road), 95 Notre Dame (Neutral)
Bad Losses (Sub-100 NET or KenPom): 149 NET Miami (Road) (Now on Tier 3)
Liberty Flames (12-5, 4-2 Atlantic Sun) – KenPom: 105, NET: 89 – Liberty did not play in the past week. This weekend they travel to Jacksonville for two games, and they continue to have the best NET rating in their conference by a very wide margin. If they win out they will win their conference regular season title and have an outside shot at an at large bid thanks to a non-conference schedule that featured Purdue, Mississippi State, South Carolina, TCU, and Missouri. They even beat South Carolina and Mississippi State.
Clemson Tigers (9-4, 3-4 ACC) – KenPom: 50, NET: 51 – Clemson is plummeting now, as they have lost three in a row in ugly fashion. They lost at Georgia Tech 83-65 and at Florida State 80-61, but they have a chance to get back on track by hosting Louisville tonight.
Oakland Golden Grizzlies (6-13, 6-6 Horizon League) – KenPom: 241, NET: 277 – The overall record isn’t great, but Oakland is holding its own in the Horizon League. They split with Detroit, winning 86-81 but losing 82-72, breaking a three game winning streak. Cleveland State leads their league at 10-2.
Valparaiso Crusaders (3-8, 2-3 Missouri Valley) – KenPom: 204, NET: 252 – The Crusaders managed to get a trio of games in within the past week, winning two. They lost 75-39 at Loyola-Chicago last Wednesday, but over the weekend they went to Illinois State and won 69-60 and 70-66 for their first two MVC wins.
Miami Hurricanes (6-8, 2-7 ACC) – KenPom: 99, NET: 149 – Once again, how good would Miami be with all-ACC Chris Lykes, who is still out. This weekend they dropped a home game to Notre Dame 73-59, which at least moved the Fighting Irish into the top 100 of the NET, but with four of their eight losses by 4 points or less, all without Lykes, he is the difference between a dismal year and an NCAA year. Purdue probably loses to Miami if they had Lykes back in December because of how we were playing at the time, but it wouldn’t be as bad of a loss.
Indiana State Sycamores (8-7, 5-5 Missouri Valley) – KenPom: 142, NET: 119 – Their midweek game with Evansville last week was postponed, but the Trees got a weekend sweep of Southern Illinois 69-66 and 71-59. They are the only team in conference play to beat Loyola-Chicago and they do not play undefeated league leader Drake.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-8, 2-5 ACC) – KenPom: 78, NET: 95 – As mentioned above, Notre Dame got its second ACC win at Miami over the weekend. They are now in the top 100, giving Purdue another tier 2 win. Tonight they host Virginia Tech.