December 10, 2013

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Remaining Undefeated NCAA Men’s Basketball Teams

By: Joe Williams

Don’t look now, but the college basketball season is already about a third of the way complete. Who knew? With bowl season and the NFL playoffs closing in, college basketball doesn’t get much attention, but it is shaping up to be a great season. Kentucky, Michigan St., and Arizona have all been ranked No. 1. The defending champions in Louisville have just one loss and are at No. 6. And there are still 15(????) teams that haven’t lost. How long will that last? Let’s take a look.

Louisville Cardinals

The defending champion Cardinals are currently 6th in the standings.

No. 1 Arizona (9-0) – The Wildcats will be tested Saturday at Michigan but I think they survive that one. They may not be so lucky on Jan . 9 at UCLA.

No. 2 Syracuse (9-0) – The Orange should have no trouble in the next two and ought to be 11-0 heading into a showdown with No. 10 Villanova. The Wildcats will probably also be undefeated heading into that game. One streak will end.

No. 3 Ohio State (8-0) - The Buckeyes have a bunch of wins against schools that I have not heard of. So I’m not impressed. But they did hold a ranked Marquette team to 35 points. That is impressive. If they beat Michigan State on Jan. 7 then I’ll really be impressed.

No. 4 Wisconsin (10-0) – The Badgers don’t leave home until 2014 when they face Northwestern. But it will be the Jan. 14 game at Indiana that really gives them trouble.

No. 9 Connecticut (9-0) – The Huskies have three wins by one point and another win by just two. They could get to 16-0, but they won’t make it to 18-0. With games against No. 16 Memphis and No. 6 Louisville coming in a three day span, at least one loss is coming.

No. 10 Villanova (9-0) – Same story here as with Syracuse. If the Wildcats can beat Syracuse, they could go for a long run. There are no other ranked teams left on the schedule.

No. 12 Wichita State (9-0) – The Shockers have only been tested on a couple of occasions. There are no ranked teams on their schedule so they should finish the season with just a couple losses. And the first one will come at Alabama on Dec. 17.

No. 15 Oregon (8-0) – The Ducks have only played one close game and escaped with a win in overtime at Mississippi. They’ll be tested in two of the next three games when they play Illinios and BYU. My gut says they lose one of them.

No. 17 Iowa State (7-0) – The Cyclones are ranked in the top four in the nation in points, rebounds and assists. No wonder they haven’t lost. But they are about to. In-state rival Iowa (ranked in the top nine in the nation in points, rebounds and assists) comes to town on Friday and will give the Cyclones their first L of the season.

No. 22 Massachusetts (8-0) – The Minutemen have an impressive list of wins already. Boston College, LSU, New Mexico, Clemson and BYU gives them a pretty nice early season resume. I’ll be really impressed if they make it to 11-0 because that will require a win over Florida Sate on Dec. 21.

No. 24 Missouri (9-0) – The Tigers are coming off of an impressive win over UCLA. They might not lose until they visit Vanderbilt on Jan. 16.

No. 28 Pittsburgh (9-0) – The Panthers haven’t even played a close game yet. And they might not until 2014. But they start the year on Jan. 4 at North Carolina State and that will be a tough one.

No. 29 Boise State (8-0) – Could Chris Peterson have left Boise State because he didn’t even have the highest ranked team at his own school? When was the last time the basketball team was ranked higher than the football team? The Broncos have the top scoring team in the country. Can they pull the upset at Kentucky tonight?

No. 35 St. Mary’s (7-0) – They don’t have any great wins yet, but St. Mary’s has a shot to pick one up against Boise State on Saturday.

Toledo (8-0) – The Rockets do not even have a vote to be in the top 25 right now. But they can shoot (6th in the country)  and have put up at least 90 points five times already.  A couple more wins should get some people’s attention. Then we’ll see what they can do when they visit No. 13 Kansas on Dec. 30.