It’s time for the final non-conference opponents’ update of the season and overall it is a good one. As we know, Purdue faced seven foes outside the Big Ten, and three were from the ACC. Of those opponents, it looks like two, Clemson and Liberty, will be in the NCAA Tournament. Miami and Notre Dame are still technically alive in the ACC, but they would need a miracle run to an ACC championship to get in. Everyone else is done.
Also, Purdue’s profile is very, very good for a 4 seed and there is the potential for a 3 seed depending on how this weekend goes. Personally, I still have no idea why Ohio State is considered a 2, but it is what it is. Given initial expectations, Purdue could not be in better shape for March.
Purdue Boilermakers Profile
Record: 18-8, 12-6 Big Ten
NET: 19 Up 2 from last week
KenPom: 13 Same as Last week
Bracket Matrix Consensus: 4 Seed, 15th seed overall
Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 7 Ohio State (Home), 7 Ohio State (Away), 11 Wisconsin (Home), 29 Maryland (Home) 34 Penn State (Away), 40 Indiana (Away), 55 Michigan State (Away)
Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 34 Penn State (Home), 40 Indiana (Home), 55 Michigan State (Home), 62 Minnesota (Home), 68 Notre Dame (Neutral), 69 Northwestern (Home), 90 Liberty (Neutral), 92 Nebraska (Away)
Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 9 Ohio State (Home), 9 Ohio State (Away), 26 Wisconsin (Home), 40 Penn State (Away), 61 Indiana (Away), 65 Michigan State (Away)
Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 34 Maryland (Home), 40 Penn State (Away), 61 Indiana (Home), 65 Michigan State (Home), 79 Notre Dame (Neutral), 83 Liberty (Neutral), 126 Nebraska (Away)
Bad Losses (Sub-100 NET or KenPom): 153 NET Miami (Road), 137 KenPom
Liberty Flames (23-5, 11-2 Atlantic Sun) – KenPom: 90, NET: 83 – The Flames are going to the NCAA Tournament, where they will be a very pesky 12-14 seed no one wants to play. It seems unlikely the committee would give us a rematch passed on Purdue’s own seeding, but I suppose it is possible. They won their conference tournament by beating Kennesaw State 69-59, Stetson 77-64, and North Alabama 79-75. This is a team that can win a game if the shots are falling. They beat two SEC teams in Mississippi State and South Carolina. They also played TCU and Missouri tough. They won’t be an easy out.
Clemson Tigers (16-6, 10-6 ACC) – KenPom: 39, NET: 36 – The Tigers split last week, losing at Syracuse 64-54 and beating Pittsburgh 77-62. Today they face Miami in the ACC Tournament at around 2:30pm. I would say Clemson is safely in the field, as Bracket Matrix has them as a 6 seed. I suppose there does exist a scenario where Purdue goes Liberty-Clemson in the first two rounds, but that tournament in Florida back in November gives a good idea of how Purdue’s first two NCAA games would be, and a chance to see how much Purdue has grown as a team.
Oakland Golden Grizzlies (12-18, 10-10 Horizon League) – KenPom: 208, NET: 247 – Okaland gave it a go last night, but fell short of winning the Horizon League and earning a potential second trip to Mackey for a First Four game. The Golden Grizzlies won in the semifinals 69-58 over Northern Kentucky, but fell to Cleveland State last night 80-69.
Valparaiso Crusaders (10-17, 7-11 Missouri Valley) – KenPom: 190, NET: 227 – Valpo’s season is done after a 66-55 loss to Missouri State in the MVC Tournament.
Miami Hurricanes (9-16, 4-15 ACC) – KenPom: 137, NET: 153 – The Hurricanes have some signs of life with two straight wins here. They closed the regular season with an 80-76 win over Boston College, then beat Pittsburgh 79-73 yesterday in the first round of the ACC Tournament. They play Clemson today for a chance at the quarterfinals.
Indiana State Sycamores (15-11, 11-7 Missouri Valley) – KenPom: 118, NET: 120– The Trees beat Evansville 53-43 to reach the NVC semifinals, but could not get a second win over Loyola-Chicago, falling 65-49. They then fired their coach and now have some mass departures looming, so there is that.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-14, 7-11 ACC) – KenPom: 68, NET: 79 – Notre Dame lost at home 80-69 to NC State last week, then shocked Florida State 83-73 in their final regular season game. Yesterday they won their ACC Tournament opener 80-77 over Wake Forest on a buzzer-beater three. Today they play North Carolina at 9pm.