College Basketball Content

List of unbeaten teams diminishes quickly once season gets underway

After only 3-1/2 weeks, just 11 undefeated teams remain

Not even four weeks into this 2016-17 season, just 11 teams remain unbeaten. This comes as no surprise, as only the very good teams will remain unbeaten for any length of time. Here is the weekly rundown of unbeaten teams since opening day on November 11, 2016: November 18 - 95 undefeated teams; November 25 - 29; December 2 - 15; and through Dec. 5 - 11. Big East members Butler, Creighton, and Villanova, all 8-0 through Dec. 5, lead the conference list, while Pac-12 schools UCLA (9-0) and Southern Cal 8-0), Baylor and TCU from the Big 12 both 8-0, and West Coast schools Gonzaga (8-0) and St. Mary's (6-0) round out the 9 of 11 schools that belong to a conference with more than one undefeated team. Notre Dame (8-0, ACC) and South Carolina (8-0, SEC) are the other two unblemished unblemished teams thus far.
RANK TEAM           W L  PCT.
  1  UCLA           9 0 1.000
  1  Baylor         8 0 1.000
  1  Butler         8 0 1.000 Lost @ Ind. St. 72-17 12/7
  1  Creighton      8 0 1.000
  1  Gonzaga        8 0 1.000
  1  Notre Dame     8 0 1.000
  1  South Carolina 8 0 1.000
  1  Southern Cal   8 0 1.000
  1  TCU            8 0 1.000 Lost @ SMU 74-59 12/7
  1  Villanova      8 0 1.000
  1  St. Mary's     6 0 1.000
This list will continue to shrink as January 1 approaches. Since 1976, the 16 longest-lasting undefeated teams on a yearly basis first lost in January, 17 lost in February, 7 lost in March, and 1 (Kentucky, in 2015) lost in April. A 12-0, No. 1 Duke team made it only until Jan. 6, 2002 before losing its first game to Florida State, the earliest calendar-year loss for any undefeated team since 1976. Regardless of which team lasts longest into 2017, you can be assured that the list will continue to get shorter on a weekly basis. With two exceptions, the last team to lose in the each year since 1976 made the NCAA tournament, with NIT runner-up Clemson (2007) and SMU (on probation in 2016) not making it. Here is a compilation of how the last teams to lose each year fared in the NCAA tournament: Lost in first round - 2 teams; round of 32, 9 teams; regional semifinal - 10 teams; regional final - 4 teams; Final Four - 4 teams; runner-up - 6 teams; champion - 5 teams. (The list totals 41 teams because Duke and Oklahoma State both lost on the same date in 1992.)

Bracket Bits from The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report

Tidbits from recent issues of The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report

From The RPI Report:  CBN says the same thing year after year, and will continue to do so this year. Do not take the RPI rankings seriously at this time of year. I had a great laugh when on Saturday, November 12, the day after the season began, one prominent website posted the RPI ratings listing several teams No. 1 with just one game played! Sure, that’s the way the formula is calculated, but who is fooling whom? This current issue of the Report includes data from just 24 days of the playing calendar, and there simply have not been enough games played to have confidence in the data yet. Through Dec. 4 there were 2 teams that had played only 3 Division I games, and there were 26 teams that had played 9 games, with the average being 7.1 games.

From The Women's RPI Report:    Everyone is curious about the RPI in late November and early- to mid-December, but remember that a huge portion of the season is still to come, and some teams have played many more games against Division I opponents than others. Conference play in January will expose those teams that have loaded up on non-conference schools that will not be found on post-season brackets in March. The beauty of conference games is that the teams all play an equal number of teams at home and on the road. There have been some great games and some major surprises so far this year, but there are still a lot of basketball games to be played. The RPI rankings will become increasingly better as more games are played, and we will get a decent hint of which teams will be vying for post-season play around the first of January.

Teams with No. 1 schedule strength rankings can usually look forward to NCAA tournament invitation

Oregon had No. 1 end of regular season overall RPI schedule strength rank and made elite 8 in NCAA tournament

The Oregon Ducks won top honors for the best overall schedule strength at the end of the 2016 regular season. The Ducks had the No. 5 opponents' won-lost record of 627-415 (.6017) in the regular season, and the No. 13 rank of opponents' RPI played, which are both alternate ways of determining schedule strength. Stanford had the best cumulative opponents' won-lost record of 561-356 (.6118), and Texas had the No. 1 rank of opponents' RPI played. Oregon received a No. 1 seed and made it to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament before losing to Oklahoma by a score of 80-68. Since 1991, 21 of the 26 teams holding the No. 1 schedule strength rank at the end of the regular season were in the NCAA tournament, and 22 of those 26 teams were in post-season play. However, having the No. 1 schedule strength does not guarantee success in the NCAA tournament. In 5 of the last 15 seasons, the team holding top schedule strength honors has lost in the first round (using pre-2011 terminology) of the NCAA tournament. In the 11 years prior to that, just 1 team with the No. 1 schedule strength that made the NCAA tournament lost in the first round, although 3 of those teams did not make the NCAA tournament. The best that a team has done in the NCAA tournament since 1991 that had the best regular-season schedule strength was North Carolina in 1997, which lost in the national semifinals to eventual national champion Arizona. Notre Dame had the best regular-season schedule strength in 1992 with a 14-14 record and finished second in the NIT. List

Several conferences use CBN's RPI data to break tournament seeding ties

Administrators have complete confidence in CBN's RPI

Nearly all conference offices subscribe to both The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report because they know they can count on the most accurate weighted RPI for the men and the women anywhere this side of the NCAA tournament selection committees. CBN first made the Adjusted RPI ratings (which are no longer used for either the men nor the women) available to The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report subscribers during the 1998-99 season. The NCAA used the Adjusted RPI ratings from the 1993-94 through the 2003-04 season for the men and have used the weighted RPI since the 2004-05 season, while the women used the Adjusted RPI through the 2010-11 season and began using the weighted RPI during the 2011-12 season. The weighted RPI gives more credit to teams that schedule tough opponents and that beat good teams at home and on the road. Story

AP carried CBN's Men's RPI Ratings for 16th consecutive year during the 2009-10 season

2009-10 was the 13th season that AP distributed CBN's Women's RPI Ratings

During the 2009-10 season, the Associated Press (AP) carried CBN's RPI ratings for both men's and women's college basketball, for the 16th consecutive year, for at least part of the season. In addition, 2009-10 was the 13th consecutive season that the AP distributed the women's RPI for at least part of the season. Story