The Bracketology Report: Purdue

Updated: February 27, 2004, 12:16 PM ET
By By Tom Durso | Insider Bracketologist

Editor's note: Each week Bracketology Insider will take an in-depth look at teams headed for the NCAA Tournament ... or not.

Week in review
With no games between its 18-point thumping of Minnesota (InsideRPI No. 148, SOS No. 87) last Saturday and its important road trip to Wisconsin (InsideRPI No. 28, SOS No. 37) this Sunday, Purdue (InsideRPI No. 89, SOS No. 172) was hoping to enjoy a quiet eight-day break and prepare for the season's final couple of weeks.

And then starting center Ivan Kartelo, according to police, took a poke at a bouncer early last Sunday and was busted for battery and public intoxication. Purdue coach Gene Keady was undecided on Kartelo's status for the Wisconsin game, but either way, the Boilermakers absolutely must remain focused as they close out the season. Already Purdue has faced the dismissal of forward Chris Booker for academic reasons earlier in the year; the distraction of a player's arrest is both unnecessary and unfortunate.

Then again, Purdue might prefer a review of police blotters instead of box scores. The Boilermakers have lost five of eight over the last month.

Coming up
After eight days off, the Boilermakers have a busy and critical week ahead, beginning with the game against the Badgers. Purdue edged Wisconsin, 53-51, back in mid-January, giving Keady his 500th win at the school. A season sweep would certainly look good to the Selection Committee.

Illinois (InsideRPI No. 26, SOS No. 64) comes to West Lafayette on Wednesday, giving Purdue its second chance in four days to sweep a Big Ten contender. The Boilermakers clamped down defensively to knock off the Illini, 58-54, in Champagne on Jan. 10.

Purdue closes its regular season next Saturday at home against Iowa (InsideRPI No. 73, SOS No. 76), which downed the Boilermakers by 10 in early January.

"Bubble Trouble"
Purdue was No. 40 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart. This makes the Boilermakers a No. 10 seed and the fourth Big Ten team in the projected NCAA field.

Its current place in the bracket notwithstanding, Purdue is nowhere near a lock to hear its name called on Selection Sunday. Yes, the Boilermakers have notched five wins over Top 50 teams, but they've also suffered some cover-your-eyes losses-check out the coyote-ugly 40-39 upset by Northwestern (InsideRPI No. 104, SOS No. 60) at home.

The Boilers' current InsideRPI of No. 89 would be the worst-ever for an at-large team and, with two tough games upcoming, not to mention the Big Ten Tournament, that number could fall farther than the part in Keady's hair.

Games of the Week
Purdue fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS.
For SETON HALL @ Connecticut (Mon.)
Georgia Tech @ DUKE (Wed.)
Against San Diego St. @ AIR FORCE (Mon.)
GEORGIA @ Florida (Wed.)


Inside the Numbers
Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include:
"Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) N-Seton Hall, N-Duke
(vs. RPI 26-50) @Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan St.
(vs. RPI 51-100) Indiana
"Bad" losses
(vs. RPI 101-200) SMU, @Colorado State, Ohio State, Northwestern
(vs. RPI sub-200) NONE
Record vs. projected field (5-3)
Win: N-Seton Hall, N-Duke, @Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State
Loss: @Oklahoma, @Michigan State, @Michigan
Record vs. at-large pool (0-1)
Win: NONE
Loss: @Iowa
Reason(s) to INCLUDE Purdue
  • 5 wins vs. RPI Top 50
  • 7-6 Big Ten Record
  • Reason(s) to EXCLUDE Purdue
  • Worst-ever RPI for at-large team
  • InsideRPI No. 89; NonConf RPI No. 117
  • Season breakdown (17-9, 7-6)
    All RPI data through Monday, Feb. 26

    Date      Opponent          Result       Opp. RPI      Opp. SOS
    11/23     Samford           66-50          233           152
    11/26     N-Texas St        61-50          ???           ???
    11/28     N-Seton Hall      75-63          20            9
    11/29     N-Duke            78-68          1             5

    12/3 Clemson 76-64 64 2 12/6 Chicago St 75-57 210 122 12/11 @Oklahoma 45-47 (L) 35 34 12/13 N-Central Mich 80-39 295 187 12/20 IPFW 80-69 289 90 12/21 SMU 59-60 (L) 170 141 12/27 Evansville 82-62 219 56 12/30 @Colorado St 69-71 (L) 101 49

    1/3 @Baylor 76-65 206 74 1/7 @Iowa 61-71 (L) 73 76 1/10 @Illinois 58-54 26 64 1/14 Wisconsin 53-51 28 37 1/21 Minnesota 72-65 148 87 1/25 Michigan St 76-70 (ot) 37 19 1/27 @Indiana 58-63 (L) 88 48 1/31 Ohio State 59-65 (L) 138 131

    2/4 @Penn State 62-47 139 67 2/7 @Michigan 63-64 (L) 50 52 2/11 Northwestern 39-40 (L) 104 60 2/14 Indiana 71-56 88 48 2/17 @Michigan St 55-62 (L) 37 19 2/21 @Minnesota 65-47 148 87 2/29 @Wisconsin 28 37

    3/3 Illinois 26 64 3/6 Iowa 73 76 3/11 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT


    Joe Lunardi's forecast (Feb. 27)
    Chance of NCAA top seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA bid: 40 percent
    Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 35 percent
    Chance of NIT bid: 60 percent
    Chance of missing post-season: 0 percent

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