Three unbeaten teams stayed that way Monday night, as Oklahoma, Ohio State and Wake Forest all beat up on teams they should beat.
The question is, how much longer will college hoops' perfect teams stay that way?
Those three, along with North Carolina, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Clemson, Stanford, Minnesota and Illinois State comprise D-I's 10 unbeaten squads. Most of them will probably lose their first game in the first few weeks of January, but a couple have a chance to reach February without a loss.
ENJOY IT NOW
Illinois State (11-0) has played the easiest schedule among the 10, so it's no surprise the Redbirds are also the most likely to lose first. Not that they're a bad team (25-10 last season and a solid defensive unit), it's just that it's tough to say just how good Illinois State really is.
Its best win thus far was a 67-60 victory against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. Seven of its 11 wins have come against teams in the bottom of kenpom.com's rankings. And with the next four games coming against four of the Missouri Valley's better teams (Missouri State, Evansville, Creighton and Bradley), the Redbirds aren't going to come away unscathed after Jan. 6.
Stanford (7-0) snagged a nice home win against Northwestern on Saturday (holding the Wildcats to 89.3 offensive efficiency, 22 below their average), and should hit 10-0 if it can play the same defense against Texas Tech on Dec. 28.
But that'll be it for the Cardinal.
Arizona State plays host to Stanford on Jan. 2. Unless James Harden doesn't play, the Sun Devils are winning that game. Making a trip to Tucson two days later won't be easy, either.
Minnesota (10-0) seems ready to rejoin the ranks of NCAA tournament teams. A 70-64 win against Louisville cemented Tubby Smith's squad as a steady, opportunistic team that can play some defense when needed.
It also may be the Gophers' best win of the season. Minnesota will be 12-0 when it plays host to Michigan State on New Year's Eve. The Spartans haven't been the powerhouse everyone expected yet, but they also just got center Goran Suton healthy. A 67-63 win against Texas was a better indication of what MSU is capable of.
If Minnesota does pull off a win against the Spartans, it'll face another unbeaten team on Jan. 3 – Ohio State. And that's a game Minnesota loses.
Ohio State (9-0) has two nasty games of its own before it travels to Minneapolis, though.
The Buckeyes play host to West Virginia (8-2 with a crushingly efficient defense) and an underrated Iowa team (9-3 behind some impressive shooting) then follow up the Minnesota contest with a game against Michigan State. Kenpom.com projects the Buckeyes' first loss on Jan. 20 against Illinois, but that's too far away. The Buckeyes have five toss-up games before then – and could very well lose all of them.
BRUTAL BIG EAST
UConn (10-0) is coming off a dramatic win against Gonzaga and is a bona-fide Final Four contender. A.J. Price turned in his best game of the season, while the Huskies also have Stanley Robinson back in the lineup.
But a home game against Georgetown on Dec. 29 could be the end of their perfect start. (Pomeroy thinks so.) If not then, Jan. 6 at West Virginia is another likely stumbling point. Or Jan. 10 at Cincinnati. UConn isn't making it through January without a loss. The Big East is too tough.
The same reasoning holds true for Pittsburgh (12-0).
The Panthers have started at least 9-0 every season since 2002-03. It's what they do. But by the time Big East play rolls around, January deals them a couple losses.
Georgetown on Jan. 3 is a likely starting point. Louisville (Jan. 17), Syracuse (Jan. 19), West Virginia (Jan. 25), Villanova (Jan. 28) and Notre Dame (Jan. 31) are Pitt's final five games of January. That'll do it.
If Wake Forest (11-0) sneaks by BYU on Jan. 3, it plays host to North Carolina on Jan. 11. That's a week to prepare for – in all likelihood -- the nation's No. 1 team.
Wake has the depth to run with the Heels, but it'll need more efficient scoring out of Jeff Teague to win the game. James Johnson and Al-Farouq Aminu can bang with Tyler Hansbrough and Deon Thompson inside, but Teague's perimeter play will be the key.
If the Deacons win, their reward is facing Clemson a week later! Brutal.
The Tigers (12-0) are off to another fast start.
and don't start ACC play until Jan. 10 against N.C. State. That means Clemson will almost certainly be 16-0 by the time it plays host to Wake Forest on Jan. 17. So Clemson gets the win. UNC awaits four days later. Done.
So when do the Heels (11-0) lose? According to Pomeroy, not until Feb. 11. But the Heels haven't made it through the last two Januarys without a loss. Last year it was Maryland, the year before, Va. Tech.
Someone like Miami may pull off a big upset in Chapel Hill on Jan. 17, but…it's just hard to imagine. Maybe the Heels won't go unbeaten, but if they lose, it's going to be to a Top 10 team.
ARE SOONERS THE ONE?
Oklahoma (12-0) isn't the nation's best team. That's Carolina. But the Sooners may very well be the last team to lose a game this season because of their schedule. The Big 12 isn't a pushover like C-USA (read: Memphis of 2007-08), but Texas, Kansas and K-State aren't as good as last year and it's unclear just how good Baylor is.
The Sooners are the class of the conference. Their toughest road game until February is Jan. 10 at K-State. After that, OU doesn't play a Top 25 team on the road until Feb. 11 at Baylor. Oddly enough, that's the day Duke plays North Carolina.
If there ever was a day to see college hoops' final unbeaten teams lose, that's the day.