Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson and Lindsay Schnell break down some surprisingly good and bad starts to the NCAA basketball season.
USA TODAY Sports
There are nine unbeaten college basketball teams after Washington’s stunning upset of Kansas on Wednesday. Which one falls next? Which one is the last one standing? Here’s a guess at how and when each unbeaten team can fall next:
No. 1 Duke (11-0)
After surviving against Michigan State, Florida and Texas, the Blue Devils have proved that they can win playing bad and turn it on when it counts. Usually an overabundance of talent leads to some chemistry issues, but the veteran leadership of Grayson Allen (yes, the same guy suspended for tripping defenders last year) has been instrumental in the success. So has the outstanding play of freshman superstar Marvin Bagley II, national player of the year candidate. Don’t expect Coach K’s team to lose in 2017. It will likely take an ACC road game to set this team of course.
► Loss projection: Jan. 15 — at Miami (Fla.)
No. 4 Villanova (9-0)
The Wildcats’ Dec. 5 dismantling of Gonzaga awakened the college basketball world to how legit this Villanova squad is. Despite losing leading scorer Josh Hart to graduation, Jay Wright’s group hasn’t skipped a beat. All-American point guard Jalen Brunson is playing extremely well, as is Mikal Bridges. With a not-so-dangerous non-conference string of games left, it’ll likely take a determined effort from a Big East team to impede Villanova’s momentum.
► Loss projection: Dec. 30 — at Butler
No. 11 Miami (8-0)
The Hurricanes just haven’t had that difficult of a…