Nine Division-I men’s basketball teams have finished a season undefeated. The last was 32 years ago when Indiana ran the table, 32-0, when (coincidentally) the NCAA tournament included just 32 teams. The landscape has changed vastly since then. But North Carolina may just change all that.
Nine Division-I men’s basketball teams have finished a season undefeated. The last was 32 years ago when Indiana ran the table, 32-0, when (coincidentally) the NCAA tournament included just 32 teams.
The landscape has changed vastly since then. But North Carolina may just change all that.
Though extremely early, the top-ranked Tar Heels’ 9-0 start is creating a buzz that they can, indeed, never lose a game this season.
They’ve already beaten two top-12 teams in Notre Dame (102-87) and Michigan State (98-63) on neutral floors. Their margin of victory entering Saturday hovered around 31 points. Their best player (Tyler Hansbrough) still isn’t fully healthy, and their top defender (Marcus Ginyard) has yet to play.
The first-ever unanimous preseason No. 1 in both the AP and coaches’ polls, North Carolina is built for perfection — even if it doesn’t talk about it.
“I have no dream of going undefeated,” coach Roy Williams said. “Not a blip. I could care less about it.”
Of course, there are both believers and non-believers.
“I would be very surprised in our sport in this day and age where you don’t have one of those games where people make all kinds of shots,” said Jim Calhoun, coach of No. 2 UConn. “There are enough people out there on a given night they give their ‘A’ game and unfortunately the best your kids can muster up is a ‘C’ game, (and) you can get beat on any night. Right now, everybody is saying they’re the team to beat, but let’s let the season play out a little bit.”
North Carolina begins ACC play on Jan. 4 when it hosts Boston College. The last time a team went unbeaten through league play was 1990 (Duke), and it shouldn’t be easy this season. The ACC ranks first in collective RPI among college basketball conferences, and it features three ranked teams after the Tar Heels in Duke, Wake Forest and Miami.
“Is it possible (to go unbeaten)? I think it’s possible,” Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said. “It’s tough getting through this league and the rigors of the ACC unblemished. But they’re a talented group. I know we’ll play hard against them.
“I think Coach Williams might have an incredibly talented team,” he added. “To get through the ACC unscathed, if they do that, they deserve all the accolades they get.”
Information from Rivals.com was used in this report. Norwich Bulletin