Unbeaten in Basketball? Don't Count on It


It doesn't take multivariable calculus to understand that winning every game in any sport is really, really hard. The last Super Bowl champion without a loss was the 1972 Miami Dolphins. In other pro leagues, the feat is virtually impossible. Even the robotics program Nick Saban disguises as Alabama's football team lost en route to each of its last two BCS titles.

But the holiest grail in sports is an undefeated season in college basketball. And what makes it so is that the game itself, now more than ever, conspires against perfection.

It has been 37 years since Indiana became Division I's last undefeated team and 21 years since UNLV took a perfect record into the NCAA tournament. Out of 347 teams, only No. 1-ranked Duke, No. 2 Michigan, No. 4 Arizona and...

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