Not even New Year's Day yet

And the number of undefeated teams in college basketball is … zero.

Villanova, Arizona State, TCU all lost. That’s the first time since the AP basketball poll started in 1948 that nobody entered the new year with a perfect record.

The accomplishment of that 1976 Indiana team (32-0) looks better and better with each passing year. And the amazing thing is that TWO teams entered the 1976 Final Four unbeaten. Rutgers also came in unbeaten, but lost to Michigan and then the third-place game to UCLA.

I remember the All Big 10 final that year. Michigan’s Rickey Green was one of the fastest players with a basketball that I ever saw. Indiana had Quinn Buckner, Kent Benson and Scott May. I really don’t remember anything about Rutgers. Don’t even remember them being there. Which just goes to show that unless you are the 1964 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, an undefeated regular season means nothing if you don’t win that last one.

Phil Sellers was Rutgers’ best player, averaged 19 points from a guard spot. Played one year with the Pistons, then pro ball in Europe. Eddie Jordan, also on that team, would later become Rutgers’ head coach. They beat Princeton, UConn and VMI to reach the Final Four. That kind of a set of tournament opponents is difficult to believe.

Yep. It was all about location location location in those days. An East regional was just that. No interlopers from other parts of the country and this was pre Big East. Kind of the like the CWS in the early-mid 80’s when the mighty Maine Black Bears took the easy road to Omaha.

That was the first year at-large teams made the NCAA tournament; prior to that you had to win the conference or be chosen as an independent. Which is why the ACC tournament became such a big deal at first. In 1974 the #3 team in the country (South Carolina) lost the ACC final and didn’t make the tournament. So of course Michigan, an at-large pick which had almost beaten IU in the last regular season game, goes all the way to the championship game.

Response: now you are reaching dragging the 1976 Indiana hoosier into comparison to today’s college basketball programs. Today’s college basketball has so many X-factors that exist whether created intentional or unintentional that eliminate a perfect season. Some historical data is so skew in comparison to today’s standards in college basketball it has no value for discussion, for instance the one and done.

Not a reach, and really not a comparison. Just noting that nobody has gotten through a season with a 0 after the record hyphen in 42 years now, since 2018 is already taken care of. Kentucky a couple of years back came the closest in a long, long time.