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Non-Conference Opponents’ Update: March 3

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Not only is Purdue in the tourney, it might be a top 4 seed.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Purdue
“I see a 4 seed!”
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was a great night for Purdue’s NCAA profile. The gritty 73-69 win over Wisconsin goes down as a tier 1 win, and Michigan State’s win over Indiana moved the Spartans over that magical 75 line in the NET. That makes our home win a tier 2 win and our road win a tier 1 win. If they could upset Michigan this weekend once that would solidfy their place, even if that does open the door to the “what if” game of a 15-4 Purdue, having closed out Minnesota and Maryland on the road, being in the discussion for a conference championship with a 14-3 Michigan and a 15-5 Illinois should they lose to Ohio State.

Speaking of Ohio State, I have no earthly idea how they are considered a potential two seed when Purdue has roughly the same, if not better, profile. Purdue is now 7-7 in tier 1 games and 6-0 in tier 2 games. Ohio State is 7-6 in tier 1 games and 5-1 in tier 2 games. The Buckeyes do have a better non-conference win (UCLA) than Purdue’s best non-conference win (Liberty or Notre Dame), plus no bad loss to Miami. Both have a win over Notre Dame. There is also the PURDUE BEAT OHIO STATE TWICE factor and Ohio State may finish 12-8 in the Big Ten to Purdue’s 13-6.

It will take care of itself though. The good news is Purdue is a lock, is looking at a potential 4 seed, and with a few bounces might even jump to a 3 seed.

Purdue Boilermakers Profile

Record: 17-8, 12-6 Big Ten

NET: 21 Up 5 from last week

KenPom: 13 Up 4 from last week

Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 7 Ohio State (Home), 7 Ohio State (Away), 12 Wisconsin (Home), 26 Maryland (Home) 39 Indiana (Away), 40 Penn State (Away), 60 Michigan State (Away)

Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 40 Penn State (Home), 55 Minnesota (Home), 60 Michigan State (Home), 66 Notre Dame (Neutral), 72 Northwestern (Home), 84 Liberty (Neutral), 90 Nebraska (Away)

Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75: 8 Ohio State (Home), 8 Ohio State (Away), 25 Wisconsin (Home), 28 Maryland (Home), 51 Penn State (Away), 59 Indiana (Away), 71 Michigan State (Away)

Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 51 Penn State (Home), 69 Minnesota (Home), 71 Michigan State (Home), 82 Notre Dame (Neutral), 83 Liberty (Neutral), 119 Nebraska (Away)

Bad Losses (Sub-100 NET or KenPom): 145 NET Miami (Road), 169 KenPom

Liberty Flames (20-5, 11-2 Atlantic Sun) – KenPom: 84, NET: 83 – Purdue now has a win over a regular season conference champion, as Liberty only played Bellarmine once and beat them 94-78. They now go into the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament as the 1 seed, starting tomorrow vs. Kennesaw State. If they reach the title game and face either Bellarmine or North Alabama they will win the automatic bid as the regular season champ since both teams are ineligible for the postseason. They may even get the autobid if either of them win the conference tournament regardless of what Liberty does. Either way, this is a nice little bonus win for Purdue over what will likely be a very pesky 13 or 14 seed.

Clemson Tigers (15-5, 9-5 ACC) – KenPom: 37, NET: 33 – Clemson won a pair of games in the last week, beating Wake Forest 60-39 and Miami 66-58. They are a pretty solid NCAA team right now, meaning there is no real harm in this loss on our record.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies (11-17, 10-10 Horizon League) – KenPom: 208, NET: 254 – Oakland is into the Horizon League semifinals after a wild night last night in the quarters across the league. They almost saw their path to the auotbid open wide. First, they won their game over Youngstown State 87-83 in overtime. Next, Milwaukee stunned #2 seed Wright State 94-92 in overtime. The craziest game of the night involved little brother Purdue-Fort Wayne. The Mastodons had #1 seed Cleveland State on the ropes before Algevon Eichelberger, averaging only 6 points per game, hit a tying three as time expired in the second overtime to save the Vikings. Eichelbarger finished with 20 points off the bench and Cleveland State escaped with a wild 108-104 triple overtime win.

Oakland will now face Northern Kentucky in the semifinals Monday here in Indy. A win and a win over either Cleveland State or Milwaukee steals them an NCAA bid.

Valparaiso Crusaders (10-17, 7-11 Missouri Valley) – KenPom: 189, NET: 226 – Valpo split the season finale with Indiana State, winning 70-58 and losing 58-43. They will begin the Missouri Valley Conference tourney on Friday against Missouri State as the 6 seed facing the 3 seed.

Miami Hurricanes (7-16, 3-15 ACC) – KenPom: 145, NET: 169 – I feel for Miami, I really do. Their season began with such promise at 3-0 after their comeback win over Purdue. Everything (aside from an upset of Duke) has gone wrong since. In the last week they lost to Florida State 88-71, Clemson 66-58, and Virginia 62-51. This is a team that was pretty good with all its parts, but when you lose two starters early things can go sideways in a hurry.

Indiana State Sycamores (14-10, 11-7 Missouri Valley) – KenPom: 119, NET: 123– We saw their scores above, but the Trees enter Arch Madness having won 10 of 12. They will be the 4 seed opening with Evansville Friday night, whom they swept on February 14 and 17. They then likely have to beat the two at large NCAA teams in Loyola-Chicago and Drake to get the autobid, but they did get the Ramblers once 76-71 on January 10th. They have the potential to win Arch Madness.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-13, 6-10 ACC) – KenPom: 66, NET: 82 – The Irish have now lost three straight after losing to Boston College 94-90. The Eagles have only beaten Miami and Notre Dame in ACC play. The Irish finish by hosting NC State and Florida State.