This is the final update on our non-conference opponents, as some have finished their seasons. This year we will get an added bonus, as two of Purdue’s early season opponents successfully won their conference tournaments. Only one will go to the NCAAs, however.
As far as Purdue’s overall profile, the Boilers are currently on the line between a 2 seed and a 3 seed as we enter the Big Ten Tournament. Barring a loss to Penn State or Minnesota Friday night, Purdue is probably at least a three seed at minimum. If it reaches Sunday of the Big Ten Tournament we can move up to a 2 seed, but a 1 seed is very unlikely at this point.
The other key thing is location. Even as a 3, Purdue is likely to be placed in Indianapolis for the first and second rounds, which is huge. Getting put in Chicago for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 would also be big, as it would be a similar advantage to 2019 when we were in Louisville. There is not a huge difference between a 2 and a 3, especially when we’re right on the S curve line. The biggest advantage is avoiding a 1 seed for as long as possible. That allows some distance for an upset to help us too.
At this point Purdue just needs to play its best basketball. The Big Ten is lost. The Big Ten Tournament can still be won. We will have a high seed and a decent chance at a Final Four. It’s up to us to take advantage.
Purdue Boilermakers Profile
Record: 25-6, 14-6 Big Ten
NET: 13 (Same as last week)
KenPom: 13 (Same as last week)
Tier 1 Wins (KenPom) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1 75: 10 Villanova (Neutral), 14 Iowa (Away), 14 Iowa (Home), 16 Illinois (Home), 16 Illinois (Away), 28 Ohio State (Home), 30 Michigan (Home), 32 North Carolina (Neutral)
Tier 2 Wins (KenPom): Home 31-75 Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 44 Indiana (Home), 76 Northwestern (Away), 73 Rutgers (Home), 93 Penn State (Away), 107 Minnesota (Away)
Tier 1 Wins (NET) Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1 75: 6 Villanova (Neutral), 14 Illinois (Away), 14 Illinois (Home), 15 Iowa (Home), 15 Iowa, (Away), 22 Ohio State (Home), 33 North Carolina (Neutral)
Tier 2: Home 31-75 (NET) Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135: 31 Michigan (Home), 44 Indiana (Home), 82 Northwestern (Away), 93 Penn State (Away), 107 Minnesota (Away)
Bad Losses (Sub-100 NET or KenPom): None
Bellarmine Knights (20-13, 11-5 Atlantic Sun) – NET 201, KenPom 199 – Bellarmine is the Atlantic Sun Tournament champion, but because they are in year 2 of their Division I transition they are not eligible for the NCAA Tournament. They beat FGCU 81-68, Liberty 53-50, and Jacksonville 77-72 to win the tournament, sending Jacksonville State, the regular season champ to the NCAAs. Bellarmine could play in the NIT or CBI.
Indiana State Sycamores (11-20, 4-14 Missouri Valley) – NET 238, KenPom 227 – Indiana State lost to Illinois State 58-53 in the first round of the Valley Tournament, so their season is done. SEASON COMPLETE
Wright State Raiders (21-13, 15-7 Horizon League) – NET 193, KenPom 183 – Wright State is off to the NCAA Tournament! They beat Oakland 75-63, Cleveland State 82-67, and Northern Kentucky 72-71 to claim the Horizon league’s automatic bid. They are projecting as a 16 seed and could have a de facto home game if they get sent to the First Four in Dayton.
North Carolina Tar Heels (23-8, 15-5 ACC) – NET 33, KenPom 32 – North Carolina took a big wet dump on Coach K’s final home game with an impressive 94-81 win at Duke. That likely locks up an NCAA berth for them, and it moved them back into the top 25.
Villanova Wildcats (23-7, 16-4 Big East) – NET 6, KenPom 10 – Villanova finished the regular season with a 78-59 win at Butler and will begin the Big East Tournament tomorrow. They are in the 2 or 3 seed range, right along with Purdue and Wisconsin. If that is the case, they should have a clear hierarchy of Wisconsin > Purdue > Villanova based on head-to-head.
Omaha Mavericks (5-26, 4-14 Summit League) – NET 346, KenPom 342 – Omaha was one and done in the Summit League tournament, losing to eventual champ South Dakota State 87-79. SEASON COMPLETE
Florida State Seminoles (15-13, 10-10 ACC) – NET 98, KenPom 101 – The Noles closed the regular season with an 89-76 win over NC State. Over the weekend They start play in the ACC Tournament today against Syracuse at noon.
North Carolina State Wolfpack - (11-20, 4-16 ACC) – NET 146, KenPom 139 – The Wolfpack are already done. In addition to losing to Florida State they fell to Clemson 70-64 yesterday in the first round of the ACC tournament. SEASON COMPLETE
Butler Bulldogs – (13-18, 6-14 Big East) – NET 129, KenPom 134 – Butler is near the bottom of the Big East and will start tournament play today against Xavier. Barring a surprise Big East run, they are done.
Incarnate Word Cardinals – (7-23, 3-11 Southland) – NET 348, KenPom 352 – A 77-68 loss to Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Saturday closed the regular season. They play Houston Baptist in the first round of the Southland Tournament today.
Nicholls Colonels – (21-10, 11-3 Southland) – NET 188, KenPom 200 – Nicholls beat Texas A&M Corpus Christi 86-75 and New Orleans 92-85 to win the conference regular season title. They got a bye to the Southland semifinals and are two wins from the NCAA Tournament.
Likely NCAA Teams: Villanova, North Carolina, Wright State
Possible NCAA Team: Nicholls
Conference Tourney Champs: Wright State, Bellarmine