Home > Current Updates > Inside the Bracket: Five unbeaten teams with suspect resumes

Inside the Bracket: Five unbeaten teams with suspect resumes

dave1Records are nice.  But they aren’t everything.  What’s inside the record matters: who you play and where you play.

On that note, here are five undefeated teams – as of Saturday morning, December 7 – whose unbeaten records are suspect.  We could very well see all of them in the 2014 NCAA Tournament bracket – a couple could even be Top 5 seeds – but through the first month of the season, we haven’t learned much despite the group compiling a 40-0 record.

UCLA (8-0) – The Bruins leave home for the first time today (at Missouri, see Weekend Preview).  It will be their only true road game before Pac-12 play begins; and the Bruins don’t play a conference road game until January 16 (at Colorado).  Their only other non-conference NCAA-level game (right now) appears to be a matchup with Duke (Dec. 19).  UCLA’s best win to date is probably Drexel at home.  The Bruins’ overall non-conference schedule is okay (Northwestern, Santa Barbara, Alabama), but it would be nice to leave So Cal once in a while.

Pittsburgh (9-0) – The Panthers don’t leave home until January 4 (@NC State).  Which means Pitt will have completed its non-conference schedule without playing a true road game.  Prior to that, the Panthers will have played Stanford, Duquesne, and Cincinnati on neutral courts.  And the Panthers’ win over Stanford is probably their best to date; although Penn State fans might argue differently.  Either way, Pittsburgh might be a Top 4 seed, but that will have to be earned in the ACC – unless Stanford, Penn State, or Cincinnati shines in the coming weeks.

Cincinnati (7-0) – Speaking of the Bearcats, they have a home victory over NC State.  That’s about it, and overtaking this year’s Wolfpack doesn’t carry a lot of weight.  Now, we have to credit UC for scheduling a trio of meaningful games this month.  It begins today with a trip to New Mexico, and is followed by dates with rival Xavier and the neutral court matchup with Pittsburgh.  A 10-0 Cincinnati team would be viewed far differently than the current version.

Missouri (8-0) – As of this post, the Tigers are the only unbeaten team in the SEC.  But are they legit contenders?  Thursday night, Missouri beat West Virginia at home, which is probably the Tigers’ best win of the season.  Their other top wins: Northwestern? Hawaii?  A least both came on a neutral courts.  Like some others on this list, Mizzou hasn’t played a true road game and won’t until December 28 at N.C. State.   Unless the Tigers handle UCLA – and perhaps Illinois – we won’t know how much bite they actually have.

Boise State (8-0) – Honestly, we should list the Broncos at 6-0 because embedded in their unbeaten start are two wins against non-Division I teams.  The best of the rest?  Utah at home.  Boise did venture into hostile territory to post a road win at New Orleans, but it’s hard to think that one will matter much come Selection Sunday.  In fairness, Boise has upcoming non-conference games with Kentucky (road), Saint Mary’s (neutral), and Hawaii (road).  But unless the Broncos beat either UK or SMC, they won’t have much on their resume heading into Mountain West play.

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