College Basketball: San Diego State Could Be Ranked No. 1 By Jan. 24
There are seven undefeated teams remaining in college basketball, so it's about time we figure out who will be the last one standing.
Let's take a look at the remaining schedules of Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse, San Diego State, Central Florida and Cincinnati and guess when each school will suffer its first loss of the 2010-11 season.
Cincinnati Bearcats: Jan. 9
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Cincinnati's 12-0 record is misleading because its schedule so far has literally been one of the easiest in the country.
The Bearcats have already played seven games against teams ranked 200 or below in the RPI and have another one coming up Tuesday against DePaul.
I'll give Cincy the benefit of the doubt that it'll get past Seton Hall and Xavier at home, but there's no way the Bearcats beat Villanova on the road Jan. 9.
Central Florida Knights: Jan. 15
UCF's 11-0 mark is legitimate thanks to wins over Florida and Miami.
The Knights should win their next four against Furman, Northeastern or Princeton, Marshall and Houston, but a road contest against fellow Conference USA upstart Southern Miss should lead to Central Florida's first loss.
Syracuse Orange: Jan. 17
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Six of Syracuse's 13 wins have come against top-100 teams in Michigan State, NC State, Northern Iowa, Michigan, Drexel and Iona, so the Orange should be able to handle Providence, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, St. John's and Cincinnati to open its Big East Slate.
However, a Jan. 17 date with Pittsburgh at the Petersen Event Center should result in SU's first loss as it plays its first game outside of New York or New Jersey.
Kansas Jayhawks: Jan. 17
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January 17 figures to be a bad day for undefeated squads.
Kansas is the No. 1 team in the RPI with the seventh toughest strength of schedule so far, but those numbers should go down as the Jayhawks entertain cupcakes Texas-Arlington, Miami of Ohio and UMKC over the next couple weeks.
KU should beat Michigan, Iowa State and Nebraska as well to get to 17-0, but its Jan. 17 date at Baylor could be a different story.
The Bears haven't exactly been too impressive thus far, failing to beat a top-100 opponent and losing their last two games to drop to 142nd in the RPI, but the talented team that was ranked ninth in the country just a couple weeks ago should be amped up for Kansas.
Duke Blue Devils: Jan. 19
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With the ACC being as weak as it is this season, there's a chance Duke could go undefeated through league play.
But that's easier said than done when you're the No. 1 team in the country, the defending national champions and the most hated team in the land.
The Blue Devils figure to get everyone's best shot and that should lead to a road loss in conference at some point.
Coach K's bunch plays its next four in Greensboro and Durham, so they should be fine until Jan. 12, when they travel to Florida State. I'll give Duke the benefit of the doubt in that one, but a Jan. 19 bout at NC State could be a different story. The Blue Devils lost by 14 in Raleigh last year.
Ohio State Buckeyes: Jan. 22
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Ohio State's 188th strength of schedule isn't too impressive, but the Buckeyes have picked up some nice wins along the way at Florida and Florida State.
Ohio State opens its Big Ten slate at Indiana and Iowa, but those shouldn't be too much trouble. Nor should games against Minnesota, Michigan or Penn State, but a trip to Illinois on Jan. 22 should keep the Buckeyes from climbing to No. 1 in the country.
San Diego State Aztecs: Jan. 26
San Diego State is currently 14-0 and No. 7 in the country, but when the polls come out on Jan. 24, the Aztecs could be the top team in the land.
SDSU is 10th in the RPI with wins over Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, Wichita State and California.
After playing Non-Division I Occidental on New Year's Eve, the Mountain West team opens its conference schedule with a pair of road tests at TCU and Utah. The Aztecs should be able to get past those two mediocre teams before hosting 11-2 UNLV on Jan. 12. Home-court advantage should do the trick in that one.
Three days later, San Diego State travels to New Mexico and while The Pit is never an easy place to play, UNM doesn't have a top-100 win this year.
Despite having one loss, Pittsburgh is ranked ahead of the Aztecs, but the Panthers should suffer another defeat at Georgetown on Jan. 12, so SDSU could be No. 1 when it loses its first game at BYU on Jan. 26.