The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Last unbeaten teams often haven’t enjoyed March success

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Murray State's Jewuan Long (US Presswire)

Here's one reason Syracuse shouldn't worry too much about suffering its first loss of the season at Notre Dame on Saturday: Being college basketball's last unbeaten team doesn't guarantee postseason success.

In the last 10 seasons, Florida's 2005-06 team is the lone last undefeated team to win the national championship. Seven of the other nine failed to make the Final Four and Clemson's memorable 2006-07 team followed up a 17-0 start by finishing below .500 in ACC play and missing the NCAA tournament altogether.

It's Ohio Valley Conference favorite Murray State (20-0) that will bear the burden of being college basketball's last unbeaten team this season. Here's a look at the last 10 teams that also held that title and how they fared after suffering their first loss:

2010-11: Ohio State (24-0)
Top players:
Jared Sullinger, William Buford, Jon Diebler
First loss: 71-67 at Wisconsin on Feb. 12
Final record: 34-3
NCAA tournament result: Lost to Kentucky in Sweet 16

2009-10: Kentucky (19-0)
Top players: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson
First loss: 68-62 at South Carolina on Jan. 26
Final record: 35-3
NCAA tournament result: Lost to West Virginia in Elite Eight

2008-09: Wake Forest (16-0)
Top players: Jeff Teague, James Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu
First loss: 78-71 vs. Virginia Tech on Jan. 21
Final record: 24-7
NCAA tournament result: Lost to Cleveland State in Round of 64

2007-08: Memphis (26-0)
Top players: Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joey Dorsey
First loss: 66-62 vs. Tennessee, Feb. 23
Final record: 38-2
NCAA tournament result: Lost to Kansas in national title game

2006-07: Clemson (17-0)
Top players: Vernon Hamilton, K.C. Rivers, James Mays
First loss: 92-87 at Maryland on Jan. 13
Final record: 25-11
NCAA tournament result: None (Lost to West Virginia in NIT title game)

2005-06: Florida (17-0)
Top players: Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer
First loss: 80-76 at Tennessee on Jan. 21
Final record: 33-6
NCAA tournament result: Beat UCLA to win national title

2004-05: Illinois (29-0)
Top players: Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Luther Head
First loss: 65-64 at Ohio State on March 6
Final record: 37-2
NCAA tournament result: Lost to North Carolina in national title game

2003-04: Saint Joseph's (27-0)
Top players: Jameer Nelson, Delonte West, Pat Carroll
First loss: 87-67 vs. Xavier on March 11
Final record: 30-2
NCAA tournament result: Lost to Oklahoma State in Elite Eight

2002-03: Duke (12-0)
Top players: Dahntay Jones, J.J. Redick, Daniel Ewing
First loss: 87-72 at Maryland on Jan. 18
Final record: 26-7
NCAA tournament result: Lost to Kansas in Sweet 16

2001-02: Duke (12-0)
Top players: Jay Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy
First loss: 77-76 at Florida State on Jan. 6
Final record: 31-4
NCAA tournament result: Lost to Indiana in Sweet 16

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