To be honest, not a lot has changed in the last week. A rash of postponements continues to affect the season, and Purdue is on that list now as last night’s game with Michigan is on the list now. We have no idea when it will be made up, but it will undoubtedly be crammed somewhere later in the season. At least Big Ten leader Michigan State is in the same boat.
Purdue continues to be helped by its overall profile. Remember: As ugly as Purdue has looked in recent games, the overall profile is still strong. In fact, virtually every non-conference opponent moved up slightly this week. We’re in about as good of a spot as we can be given recent events, but a # 1 seed is still well within reach if the work gets done. Joe Lunardi currently has us as a 2 seed, but shifted into Baylor’s region in San Antonio. That was before the Bears lost last night. Baylor, Gonzaga, UCLA, and Auburn are his current No. 1 seeds, but Purdue can easily get back in that discussion if it takes care of business. Even if Purdue gets back on the 1 line it would likely have one of those four as a 2 seed, so not an easy Elite 8 game. Then again, Elite 8 games are rarely easy.
There is a lot of basketball still to be played. Purdue has played 15 of its 31 expected regular season games. If it recovers from this slight swoon and wins the Big Ten I have very little doubt it will be a No. 1 seed. There will undoubtedly be more losses and upsets all over the place this season, plus postponements will also factor in. How Purdue handles it will determine if it becomes a No. 1 seed.
Purdue Boilermakers Profile
Record: 13-2, 2-2 Big Ten
NET: 8 (up 5 from last week)
KenPom: 5 (the same as last week)
Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1 75: 4 Villanova (Neutral), 25 Iowa (Home), 29 North Carolina (Neutral), 67 Penn State (Away)
Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 52 Florida State (Home)
Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1 75: 7 Villanova (Neutral), 22 Iowa (Home), 35 North Carolina (Neutral)
Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 71 Florida State (Home), 82 Penn State (Away)
Bad Losses (Sub-100 NET or KenPom): None (Rutgers has climbed high enough to be a tier 2 loss now on NET and KenPom)
Bellarmine Knights (8-8, 2-0 Atlantic Sun) – NET 239, KenPom 210– Bellarmine got back on the court and won a pair of games after an extended pause. They beat Eastern Kentucky 66-61 and Central Arkansas 85-63 to take a very early conference lead. They are still ineligible for the NCAA Tournament because they are a transitional Division I member, but if they win a regular season conference title it helps us.
Indiana State Sycamores (8-7, 1-2 Missouri Valley) – NET 165, KenPom 163 – The Trees had a pair of postponements last week, but got back on the court last night with an 80-74 loss to Northern Iowa. They have a great shot at a good win this weekend by hosting league favorite Loyola-Chciago.
Wright State Raiders (8-7, 5-1 Horizon League) – NET 266, KenPom 201– Wright State is starting to assert itself in the Horizon League. The have won six straight overall with their 90-72 win over Illinois-Chicago and 72-58 win over IUPUI last week. Their Monday game at Northern Kentucky was postponed, but they are a half game behind Cleveland State for first place.
North Carolina Tar Heels (11-4, 3-1 ACC) – NET 35, KenPom 29 – The Tar Heels lost a tough one at Notre Dame 78-73, but they bounced back with a 74-58 win over Virginia at home on Saturday. They are off until this weekend when they host Georgia Tech.
Villanova Wildcats (11-4, 4-1 Big East) – NET 7, KenPom 4 – The Wildcats are on a tear after a slow start to the season. They avenged their conference loss to Creighton with a dominant 75-41 bounceback. They then got a decent win on Saturday over DePaul in Chicago 79-64. They are at Xavier tonight in a very big Big East game.
Omaha Mavericks (3-14, 2-4 Summit League) – NET 341, KenPom 330 – Things were busy last week for the Mavericks. They got a 98-82 home win over North Dakota on Thursday. They have since dropped two straight, to North Dakota State 71-67 and UMKC 64-61.
Florida State Seminoles (9-5, 3-2 ACC) – NET 71, KenPom 52 –The last two games have been big for the Seminoles. They beat Louisville 79-70 over the weekend, then got a win over previously undefeated-in-the-ACC Miami last night 65-64 courtesy of a very weak late foul call.
North Carolina State Wolfpack - (8-8, 1-4 ACC) – NET 139, KenPom 116 – This is now looking more like a dodged bullet than a good non-conference neutral site win. They lost at Clemson 70-65 over the weekend, their sixth loss in seven games. They are at Louisville tonight.
Butler Bulldogs – (8-6, 1-2 Big East) – NET 141, KenPom 123 – Butler lost a tough home rivalry game to Xavier 87-72 on Friday. They head to Georgetown tomorrow night before going to Villanova on Sunday.
Incarnate Word Cardinals – (4-13, 1-2 Southland) – NET 347, KenPom 353 – Incarnate Word played three games in three days in the “Southland Conference Tipoff” in Katy, TX. They lost to Nicholls 87-56 and Northwestern State 83-80, but rebounded to beat Houston Baptist 60-50.
Nicholls Colonels – (10-7, 2-1 Southland) – NET 146, KenPom 194 – As mentioned above, Nicholls beat Incarnate Word in that conference event. They also beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 84-75, but lost to Southeastern Louisiana 77-72. They are the highest rated team in their conference per the NET and on par with NC State and Butler there.