How many undefeated teams are left in college basketball? Three. That’s a lot to ask! But there’s only one real way to answer that question: through the NCAA tournament. Only teams that competed in the NCAA tournament can make the list. So UCLA, Rutgers, and Michigan are all still undefeated. And those are just the teams that have been competing in the tournament so far.
Three undefeated teams
There are currently three undefeated teams in college basketball. The first is Iowa State, 12-0 and tied for first place in the Big 12. In fact, the Cyclones are the only team to beat an undefeated team in a season. They average 16 points a game and 8.4 rebounds per game, and they shoot 50 percent from the field. Iowa State will face ranked team Baylor on New Year’s Day.
Colorado State is currently the only other undefeated team in college basketball. They are currently 4-0 in the ACC. Arizona has yet to play since Dec. 17, and three of their games have been postponed due to COVID-19. Colorado has two postponements and is set to host USC on Friday. But the Bears will be a tough challenge, and they’ll likely remain unbeaten for a while.
Auburn is the final team in the country. It nearly joined the three other undefeated teams in the SEC, but it lost to Vanderbilt in an exciting finish. The SEC will play neutral-site games the rest of the way. But if you’re in the SEC, you have a chance to beat any of these three teams. So don’t worry! You’ve still got plenty of time to make it to the Elite Eight or ACC Final Four. And keep your eyes open for Auburn.
So far, this is the most recent team to join the list of college basketball’s three undefeated teams. The Cornhuskers, Gonzaga and Indiana all ended up with a perfect season. In 1951, Columbia had a 20-0 record and went undefeated before losing to No. 5 Illinois in the first round of the tournament. In the 2021 season, Gonzaga went 24-0, drew the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but ultimately fell to Baylor in the national championship. The list continues to grow as more teams join the league, but the three teams mentioned above are the most recent.
The next team in line is the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Bulldogs went undefeated in their first round game against Oklahoma State and are now in the Sweet 16. The NCAA Tournament is the best time for an undefeated team to reach the Final Four, and Gonzaga will be one of them. So, how do you get on the list? You can watch their games live on ESPN. It’s worth it.
There were three other teams that managed to go undefeated in the NCAA tournament. In 1956, the San Francisco Dons, who were undefeated, won the national championship. They were ranked #1 in the UPI and AP polls. In 1957, the Tar Heels became the second undefeated team after Kansas. In fact, they won nine national championships during that time period.
Until last year, UCLA had never lost in the NCAA Tournament. This streak ended when the Bruins lost to Florida in the national championship. The Bruins’ front court was a problem for Florida. The Bruins had one of the worst front lines in college basketball. However, a change in coaching and a new look roster helped the Bruins end their losing streak. The Bruins finished the season with a record of 24-6, winning the Pac-10 title and the Pac-10 tournament by double digits. In the NCAA Tournament, the team knocked off top seed Kansas in the first round and reached the Final Four for the first time in 11 years.
The UCLA Bruins finished the 1972-73 season undefeated. They were the first team to go undefeated in the NCAA Tournament, although only six other teams went undefeated that season. In 1976, Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers finished undefeated. Since then, no other team has come close to UCLA’s record. The UCLA dynasty was led by legendary coach John Wooden. UCLA has won seven national championships in a row, and won four of those seasons in a row.
In the 1970s, UCLA dominated college basketball. Despite not being a freshman, Bill Walton scored over twenty points a game and grabbed 17 rebounds. He went on to become an NBA legend and became a national champion. How many undefeated teams in college basketball are UCLA? The answer may surprise you! And don’t worry – there are plenty more. So, it’s possible that UCLA can go undefeated once more.
In the 1967 season, UCLA finished second in the Pac-10. They didn’t make the NCAA tournament in 1966. Only the conference champions qualified for the tournament. But in 1967, they returned with new All-American Lew Alcindor. The Pac-10 champions won the championship by a combined score of 88 points. But in the 1968 season, the team tallied a perfect 4-0 record and ended up losing to the Memphis Tigers in the Final Four.
Another example is the UCLA Bruins’ legendary season of 1967. The team went 30-0 and won the NCAA title, led by tournament MVP Walt Hazzard and his backcourt mate Gail Goodrich. The Bruins beat Kansas State, Pacific, Dayton and Duke in the regular season and went on a crazy run in 1971-1973. During this time, Wooden’s team finished 29-0 and defeated Purdue in the NCAA final.
In the 1980s, UCLA had two head coaches. The first was Fred Cozens. He coached the team from 1978 to 1979. His first season with the Bruins ended with an overall record of 21-4. In the 1920s, the team was led by Caddy Works, a lawyer by trade. His presence was critical in the revival of the UCLA basketball program. UCLA went on to advance to the Elite Eight within four years, the deepest tournament advance in 13 years.
How many undefeated teams are there in college basketball? There are only eighteen teams, including Rutgers, that have finished the regular season undefeated. Rutgers is the only team in that history to reach the Final Four. This year, Rutgers is on the verge of an undefeated season. In the 1976 season, Rutgers went undefeated, winning all seven of its games.
The 2000 season saw Rutgers defeat Notre Dame and Villanova to win the BIG EAST Conference. The following year, the team advances to its fourth straight Elite Eight. In the NCAA Tournament, Rutgers upsets No. 8/7 Ohio State to win the Sweet Sixteen. The team finishes 27-5 at home and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The season is a memorable one for Rutgers, as Sue Wicks earns her third All-American honor.
While Rutgers’ offensive game is ineffective, the team’s defense has proven to be one of its greatest strengths. Rutgers outrebounded its opponents in 11 of 18 conference games. Last season, the Scarlet Knights finished fourth in the AP poll and reached the Final Four. Rutgers’ defense was also formidable, and the team was only outscored by two teams in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights will be difficult to beat in the NCAA Tournament, but they have a chance to win consecutive games.
This season, the Scarlet Knights returned to the Big Ten after a dark spring. After the dismissal of previous coach Mike Rice, the team had just four scholarship players left. Jordan knew he had a lot of work to do. After all, Rutgers had not won an NCAA tournament game in 30 years. However, their new head coach, Eddie Jordan, has every intention of bringing the Scarlet Knights back to their former glory.
The first team to go undefeated was the 1976 Rutgers squad. The team was coached by Bill Young. The second team came from Kentucky, which formed the first ever SEC tournament. Kentucky and Rutgers both reached the Final Four in that season. When it comes to undefeated teams in college basketball, the odds are in Rutgers’ favor.
Pikiell has a 30 year coaching career and is under contract at Jersey Mike’s Arena until the end of 2023. He’s the 19th head coach in Rutgers men’s basketball history. Pikiell has guided the Scarlet Knights to turnarounds both as a player and coach. In 2021, Pikiell led the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991. In 2022, Rutgers defeated every other Big Ten team he has faced.