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exclusivelee
11-05-2013, 11:37 AM
Ken Pomeroy gives us an idea of which teams are best positioned to run their league gantlet unscathed:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9909964/most-likely-teams-finish-conference-season-undefeated-college-basketball


Chances are good that at least one of the 350 members of a Division I conference finishes the season with a perfect conference record. Who are the best candidates for that? Naturally, it will be teams that are much better than everyone else in their conference. It doesn't hurt to be in a conference with a shorter schedule, either.

Of course, we'll have more information in late December on which teams have the best chance to pull that off, but what's the fun in waiting? Based on a combination of analytics (both Dan Hanner's and my own projection systems) and human opinion (preseason media polls and the general temperature of expert opinion), I've picked out the five teams most likely to navigate their conference's schedule without a loss this season.

1. New Mexico State Aggies, WAC
2. Harvard Crimson, Ivy League
3. Louisville Cardinals, American
4. Denver Pioneers/North Dakota State Bison, Summit
5. Gonzaga Bulldogs, WCC

Other notables:

Kansas Jayhawks, Big 12
Kentucky Wildcats, SEC




5. Gonzaga Bulldogs, WCC

Most observers have passed the point of wondering whether the Zags will win the WCC regular-season title and now wonder how they'll do it. Last season's perfect conference record was their fourth in the past decade. Perhaps we should be a little more reserved about handing the Zags their 13th regular-season title over the past 14 seasons. It's worth noting that replacing Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris won't be trivial (both are in the NBA). But the gap between Gonzaga and the rest of the WCC is still pretty big, especially with Saint Mary's expected to slide a bit this season. BYU could be the sleeper.

SteelCityZag
11-05-2013, 11:40 AM
Ken Pomeroy gives us an idea of which teams are best positioned to run their league gantlet unscathed:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9909964/most-likely-teams-finish-conference-season-undefeated-college-basketball

I like how he picks either Denver or North Dakota St. to go unbeaten in the Summit. Does that say more about those two teams, or about the conference?

exclusivelee
11-05-2013, 11:45 AM
I like how he picks either Denver or North Dakota St. to go unbeaten in the Summit. Does that say more about those two teams, or about the conference?

what Kenpom says about that:


The Summit League is the other conference going with a 14-game schedule this season and it may be the conference most likely to produce an unbeaten team. I have five of the conference's eight members projected outside the top 250 and Dan Hanner's projections are similar with four teams in the bottom 100 and Western Illinois checking in at No. 246. The problem is figuring out which team is most likely to pull it off. If either Denver or North Dakota State is able to sweep the other, then the sweeper will have a relatively easy path to perfection. Given Denver's historically large home-court advantage and the other conference member's unfamiliarity with playing at altitude, I'm inclined to give the Pioneers a slight edge here.