Seven undefeated teams remain, but which will survive the longest?
Two Big East and SEC teams along with one each from ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 remain unblemished
Through games of December 11 there were 7 teams that were undefeated so
far this season.
Five of the seven teams were ranked in the top 25 AP and Coaches polls, with Georgetown and Mississippi State missing the cut. Georgetown had the worst schedule strength in the country at No. 351, thus its low RPI rank as shown below. All of these teams have competitive games coming due by early January and therefore a potential loss. The seven teams with their RPI rank through December 11, record, and two upcoming games that are potential losses are shown below. Mississippi State is first up, with a game against Cincinnati on December 12 in Highland Heights, Kentucky, on Northern Kentucky's home court (BB&T Arena), which UC is using while Fifth Third Arena is being renovated.
Team (RPI Rank, Record) Potential Loss
TCU (11, 10-0) Dec. 30 Oklahoma; Jan. 2 at Baylor
Villanova (1, 10-0) Dec. 13 at Temple; Dec. 30 at Butler
Arizona St. (3, 9-0) Dec. 17 Vanderbilt; Dec. 30 at Arizona
Florida St. (30, 9-0) Dec. 16 vs. Oklahoma St.; Dec. 30 at Duke
Georgetown (196, 8-0) Dec. 16 Syracuse; Dec. 27 Butler
Miami-FL (49, 8-0) Dec. 16 at George Wash.; Dec. 22-25 Diamond Head Cl.
Mississippi St. (31, 8-0) Dec. 12 at Cincinnati; Jan. 2 Arkansas
Since Indiana’s undefeated season in 1976, the last unbeaten team to suffer the earliest defeat in a season survived until January 6, that being Duke in 2002. Kentucky made it until being beaten by Wisconsin on April 4, 2015. Since 1976, 16 of the last undefeated teams suffered their first defeat in January, 18 in February, 6 in March, and 1 in April. Which will be the last team standing without a loss this season? Time will tell, but it will be surprising if any team makes it until February 1 without a blemish this season.
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: As we detailed in
last week’s issue of The RPI Report, the NCAA is
using a new method for defining quality wins. Previously, games against
opponents ranked 1-50, 51-100, 101-200, etc. were used for the "Team
Sheets" and “Nitty-Gritty.” Last week, CBN called the
groupings “Tiers,” using Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4. The NCAA came
out with their “official” designation of these four groupings last week,
calling them “Quadrants,” those being Quadrant 1, Quadrant 2, Quadrant 3,
and Quadrant 4 (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4). The NCAA’s use of this term is
interesting, as it implies dividing something into four equal parts.
The RPI Report will use the quadrant terminology
From The Women's RPI Report: All of the schools that are currently members of the ACC, Big Ten, and Big West have participated in the NCAA tournament at least once since becoming members of their respective leagues. The Big 12, Ivy, Mid-American, Pac-12, and Pacific Coast each have one current member that has not made the tournament since becoming members. At the other end of the spectrum are Conference USA, with 9 current members that have not made the tournament since joining, the Southland and Sun Belt, with 8 such members, and the American and WAC, with 7 members that have not made the tournament since joining.
Teams with No. 1 schedule strength rankings can usually look forward to NCAA tournament invitation
Vanderbilt had No. 1 end of regular season schedule strength rank but came up short in NCAA tournament, losing in first round
The Vanderbilt Commodores won top honors for the best overall schedule strength at the end of the 2017 regular season through games of Selection Sunday. In addition, Vandy had the No. 3 rank of opponents' RPI played, along with the No. 1 opponents' won-lost record of 676-401 (.6277) in the regular season, which are both alternate ways of determining schedule strength. Louisville had the No. 1 rank of opponents' RPI played. The Commodores received an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA tournament with a No. 9 seed but lost to No. 8 seed Northwestern 68-66 in the first round. Since 1991, 22 of the 27 teams holding the No. 1 schedule strength rank at the end of the regular season were in the NCAA tournament, and 23 of those 27 teams were in post-season play. (Georgia, in 2003, was ineligible.) However, having the No. 1 schedule strength does not guarantee success in the NCAA tournament. In 7 of the last 17 seasons, the team holding top schedule strength honors has lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In the 10 years prior to that, not a single 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 NCAA tournament performance for a team with the best regular-season schedule strength since 1991 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