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Non-Conference Opponents Update: December 29

Purdue can complete a spotless non-conference tonight

NCAA Basketball: Incarnate Word at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry I missed last week’s update. I was on vacation in Southern California as the family and I finally got to take our Disneyland trip originally planned for May 2020. Instead of thinking of Purdue basketball I was distracted by the joy that is Galaxy’s Edge. Hopefully a Final Four is as exciting as flying the Millennium Falcon.

There has been basketball in the last two weeks though, and in a few short hours Purdue’s non-conference profile will be complete. So far Purdue is 10 for 10 in non-league games, and a perfect profile with a win over Nicholls will provide the maximum boost in March. Purdue has three wins over ACC teams and two wins over Big East teams. Even if they all miss the NCAA Tournament, they are teams that will look good on the resume due to their affiliation. If they can get into NCAA consideration, even better.

Purdue Boilermakers Profile

Record: 11-1, 1-1 Big Ten

NET: 6

KenPom: 3

Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1 75: 12 Villanova (Neutral), 23 Iowa (Home),37 North Carolina (Neutral)

Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 39 Florida State (Home), 80 NC State (Neutral)

Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 9 Villanova (Neutral), 27 Iowa (Home), 47 North Carolina (Neutral)

Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 72 Florida State (Home)

Bad Losses (Sub-100 NET or KenPom): at Rutgers (147 NET, 100 KenPom)

Bellarmine Knights (6-8, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) – NET 258, KenPom 220– Bellarmine sort of got a win over Purdue, as they beat Jack Owens and Miami (OH) on the road 77-68 on December 18. They then lost to Loyola Marymount 71-57 three days later. They are still a transitional Division I member, so they cannot make the NCAAs.

Indiana State Sycamores (6-6, 0-1 Missouri Valley) – NET 176, KenPom 217 – The Trees are back at .500 overall, but are on a COVID pause. They beat Alabama A&M 67-43 and got a non-D1 win over Oakland City, but it was far too close at 78-69. They have yet another non-D1 game tonight against Midway.

Wright State Raiders (4-7, 1-1 Horizon League) – NET 261, KenPom 167– Wright State got a win over Tennessee Tech 72-63 on December 18, then pulled off a stunner by upsetting NC State in Raleigh on December 21. It wasn’t even really close, either, as they handled the Wolfpack 84-70. They are not an at large team, but they have a real shot at winning the Horizon League.

North Carolina Tar Heels (9-3, 1-0 ACC) – NET 47, KenPom 37 – ACC play restarts tonight for the Tar Heels, and it comes after they split their last two non-conference games. They lost to Kentucky 98-69 in a neutral court showcase, but beat Appalachian State 70-50. They host Virginia Tech tonight.

Villanova Wildcats (8-4, 1-1 Big East) – NET 12, KenPom 12 – Villanova had a strange split to start Big East play. They got run off the floor at Creighton 79-59, but beat a ranked Xavier at home 71-58. They are still projecting as a top 4 seed, and could be a two seed with a strong Big East showing. Their game with temple tonight is postponed and they go to a top 15 Seton Hall on Saturday.

Omaha Mavericks (2-11, 1-1 Summit League) – NET 340, KenPom 337 – The Mavericks started Summit League play with an 80-73 to D1 newcomer St. Thomas of Minnesota, but got an 87-78 home win over Western Illinois to break an 11 game losing streak. Western Illinois has a win over a B1G team in Nebraska.

Florida State Seminoles (6-4, 0-1 ACC) – NET 72, KenPom 39 –Florida State has been on an extended COVID pause and has had three games postponed or cancelled in recent weeks.

North Carolina State Wolfpack - (7-5, 0-1 ACC) – NET 171, KenPom 113 – The Wolfpack had a real shot at beating Purdue when it was No. 1. Now they have lost three in a row after two home losses to non-power conference teams. They lost to Richmond 83-74 in Charlotte, then were upset by Wright State as mentioned above. If they can at least play their way into the top 100 that would help a lot, and the ACC schedule starting tonight at Miami will raise them win or lose.

Butler Bulldogs – (7-4, 0-0 Big East) – NET 151, KenPom 103 – Butler hasn’t played since Purdue drilled them at the Fieldhouse, as they had a conference game with St. John’s postponed. They play DePaul tonight at home in theirfirst Big East game. Like NC State, we just need them to play their way into the top 100.

Incarnate Word Cardinals – (2-11, 0-0 Southland) – NET 344, KenPom 353 – The Cardinals lost at Rice 85-55 before losing at Purdue a week ago, then lost at Texas 78-33. They continue to rate as one of the worst teams in Division I, but their next D1 game is against Nicholls.

Nicholls Colonels – (8-5, 0-0 Southland) – NET 129, KenPom 222 – The Colonels are an interesting club. Right now they project as a 16 seed and the Southland rep in the NCAA Tournament. They had a three-point loss at Wisconsin two weeks ago, then beat Mississippi Valley State (the worst team in America per KenPom) 104-73. They lost at Oregon State in their last game 83-61.