Too Tough a Schedule

In the college
sports landscape when it comes to post season births the argument of
quality of schedule versus number of wins is at constant debate. The
Purdue Boilermakers will find themselves embroiled in this debate as
the Big Ten tournament gets started. Did they get enough wins in a
very tough schedule?

Bracketology
has Purdue a high seed for the NIT Tournament after the loss at home
to Rutgers. Predictions for them to get in to March Madness is to
probably win the whole Big Ten tournament. Starting Thursday the
Boilermakers take on #19 Ohio State with the winner getting #9
Michigan State on Friday. Winning both games would be a huge boost
but still possibly not enough.

Looking at
Painter’s squad resume the Boilers are 5-9 in Quad 1, 3-5 in Quad 2,
3-0 in Quad 3 and 5-1 in Quad 4. Purdue swept Iowa, crushed Michigan
State and Virginia and beat a ranked VCU team. The problem was the
road games in the conference and missing a few opportunities in
non-conference. Texas, at Marquette, Florida State, both Illinois
games, Penn State, Rutgers and the big one was at Nebraska. Purdue is
(16-15, 9-11) but just one more win in and out of conference would
make them (18-13, 10-10) and probably still on the bubble but the
Boilers were in the picture before the Rutgers game and would have
more solid ground to stand on with just two more wins.

The argument
for the Boilermakers has been a consistently tough schedule where the
transitioning team was constantly challenged, but did they win
enough? The argument of tougher schedule versus wins is in their own
conference. Indiana is a projected 10 seed for March Madness as long
as they don’t blow it against a Nebraska team waving the white flag.

The Hoosiers
are (19-12, 9-11) 2-9 in Quad 1, 6-2 Quad 2, 3-1 Quad 3 and 8-0 in
Quad 4. Reviews of the IU season is they fell short in signature wins
but have gotten help from other bubble teams stepping forward. In the
non-conference they beat Florida State, not to be overlooked,
Connecticut and Notre Dame but lost to Arkansas. Those are the only
four games of note that stand out in a weak non-conference, as proven
by their 11-1 Quad 3 and 4 wins. The Hoosiers took care of business
and held serve in the Big Ten.

As a Purdue
fan Painter’s squad deserves credit for a tough schedule but the
transitioning team couldn’t hold up to the rigors of the season. It
is even more frustrating when the Boilermakers swept IU that played a
weak non-conference schedule but they took care of business. Credit
to Archie Miller realizing his team needed the boosts of some easier
wins in the non-conference, especially for a Big Ten Conference that
looks like it’ll get ten teams in to the dance.

After the
Elite 8 berth, almost Final 4, hopes were high even with the loss of
Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline. However, the truth is it was a really
tough schedule for a transitioning team. Of course you never want
your team to miss the NCAA Tournament but a chance to get in more
games in the NIT and, even possibly win the championship, could be a
spring board for a team that will return most of the core. The
pressure of post season play will give this young Boiler squad a
chance to redefine their pecking order with their leader last year
leaving last season.