Last of the Unbeatens: Historical Odds Against Michigan Winning NCAA Title
No NCAA Division I men's team has compiled an undefeated record since Indiana in 1975-76. Michigan was the last remaining unbeaten team this season until the Wolverines bowed at Ohio State, 56-53. The Buckeyes know how UM feels because they were the last team to lose only two years ago before succumbing at Wisconsin, 71-67.
Falling behind by 21 points in the first half, Michigan appeared headed to become the fifth final undefeated squad since Oregon State in 1980-81 to lose by 20 or more points in its initial reversal (highest margin of defeat in that span of 29 by Connecticut in 1994-95). But the Wolverines recovered and nearly took the lead prior to a three-pointer rimming out in the closing seconds, becoming the 10th final unbeaten squad in the last 17 years to lose by fewer than five points.
Historical odds come into play now and are against Michigan winning the NCAA title because only three final undefeated teams in the previous 34 years (Duke '92, UConn '99 and Florida '06) went on to capture the national crown. Only 1/3 of the first 36 teams since IU '76 in this category reached the Final Four - including none in the previous four years.
Michigan matched Clemson six years ago for the earliest every club sustained a loss in this span. Clemson, losing nine of 11 games upon incurring its initial setback in 2006-07, is the only school in the last-of-the-unbeaten category to fail to participate in the NCAA playoffs. The Tigers finished runner-up in the NIT.
Last year, Murray State became the 10th of these 36 last-remaining-standing teams to suffer their first defeat at home. With a tip of the hat to @d1scourse for triggering digging deep into season-by-season files, following are vital facts on final unbeaten teams since the Hoosiers in 1975-76:
|Season||Last Unbeaten (Wins)||First Defeat||Date||Score||Final Record/Postseason|
|2012-13||Michigan (16)||at Ohio State||1-13-13||56-53||To be determined|
|2011-12||Murray State (23)*||Tennessee State||2-9-12||72-68||31-2/Second Round|
|2010-11||Ohio State (24)||at Wisconsin||2-12-11||71-67||34-3/Regional Semifinal|
|2009-10||Kentucky (19)||at South Carolina||1-26-10||68-62||35-3/Regional Final|
|2008-09||Wake Forest (16)||Virginia Tech||1-21-09||78-71||24-7/First Round|
|2007-08||Memphis (26)||Tennessee||2-23-08||66-62||38-2/National Runner-up|
|2006-07||Clemson (17)*||at Maryland||1-13-07||92-87||25-11/NIT Runner-up|
|2005-06||Florida (17)*||at Tennessee||1-21-06||80-76||33-6/NCAA Champion|
|2004-05||Illinois (29)*||at Ohio State||3-6-05||65-64||37-2/NCAA Runner-up|
|2003-04||Saint Joseph's (27)*||vs. Xavier||3-11-04||87-67||30-2/Regional Final|
|2002-03||Duke (12)||at Maryland||1-18-03||87-72||26-7/Regional Semifinal|
|2001-02||Duke (12)||at Florida State||1-6-02||77-76||31-4/Regional Semifinal|
|2000-01||Stanford (20)||UCLA||2-3-01||79-73||31-3/Regional Final|
|1999-00||Syracuse (19)||Seton Hall||2-7-00||69-67||26-6/Regional Semifinal|
|1998-99||Connecticut (19)||Syracuse||2-1-99||59-42||34-2/NCAA Champion|
|1997-98||Utah (18)||at New Mexico||2-1-98||77-74||30-4/NCAA Runner-up|
|1996-97||Kansas (22)||at Missouri (2OT)||2-4-97||96-94||34-2/Regional Semifinal|
|1995-96||Massachusetts (26)*||George Washington||2-24-96||86-76||35-2/NCAA Semifinal|
|1994-95||Connecticut (15)||at Kansas||1-28-95||88-59||28-5/Regional Final|
|1993-94||UCLA (14)||at California||1-30-94||85-70||21-7/First Round|
|1992-93||Virginia (11)||at North Carolina||1-20-93||80-58||21-10/Regional Semifinal|
|1991-92||Duke (17)||at North Carolina||2-5-92||75-73||34-2/NCAA Champion|
|1991-92||Oklahoma State (20)||at Nebraska||2-5-92||85-69||28-8/Regional Semifinal|
|1990-91||UNLV (34)||vs. Duke||3-30-91||79-77||34-1/NCAA Semifinal|
|1989-90||Georgetown (14)||at Connecticut||1-20-90||70-65||24-7/Second Round|
|1988-89||Illinois (17)||at Minnesota||1-26-89||69-62||31-5/NCAA Semifinal|
|1987-88||Brigham Young (17)*||at UAB||2-6-88||102-83||26-6/Sweet 16|
|1986-87||DePaul (16)||at Georgetown||1-25-87||74-71||28-3/Regional Semifinal|
|1985-86||Memphis State (20)||at Virginia Tech||2-1-86||76-72||28-6/Second Round|
|1984-85||Georgetown (18)||St. John's||1-26-85||66-65||35-3/NCAA Runner-up|
|1983-84||North Carolina (21)||vs. Arkansas||2-12-84||65-64||28-3/Regional Semifinal|
|1982-83||UNLV (24)||at Cal State Fullerton||2-24-83||86-78||28-3/Second Round|
|1981-82||Missouri (19)||Nebraska||2-6-82||67-51||27-4/Regional Semifinal|
|1980-81||Oregon State (26)*||Arizona State||3-7-81||87-67||26-2/Second Round|
|1979-80||DePaul (26)*||at Notre Dame (2OT)||2-27-80||76-74||26-2/Second Round|
|1978-79||Indiana State (33)*||vs. Michigan State||3-26-79||75-64||33-1/NCAA Runner-up|
|1977-78||Kentucky (14)||at Alabama||1-23-78||78-62||30-2/NCAA Champion|
|1976-77||San Francisco (29)||at Notre Dame||3-5-77||93-82||29-2/First Round|
*All-time top winning streaks.
NOTES: Indiana State lost in NCAA Tournament championship game at Salt Lake City. . . . North Carolina lost in Pine Bluff, Ark. . . . Saint Joseph's lost in Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Dayton. . . . UNLV lost to Duke in 1991 NCAA Tournament national semifinals in Indianapolis.