Last clan standing: How final unbeatens have finished seasons

<img src=" data-canon="Wichita State Shockers" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0">
Gregg Marshall and the Shockers stand alone. When will that first loss come?(USATSI)

One of the most shocking losses of the season came about Wednesday night, when 6-19 Boston College became 7-19 Boston College after winning in overtime.

At Syracuse.

Which of course hadn't lost all season prior.

Need perspective on how ludicrous this outcome was? Forget if the odds don't say it was the most unlikely result of the season -- though some metrics are already claming that -- consider that Boston College had won just two games over a D-I opponent ... since November. Forget that Syracuse had stumbled against two teams and needed prayers answered in the finals seconds in order to remain unbeaten in the past week, and perhaps was due to get picked off.

How about this?

It's amazing. By the way, having your first loss of the season come at home isn't uncommon. Ten of the 31 previous last teams standing saw their first loss happen while hosting, like Syracuse.

But now, because Syracuse has finally been felled, college basketball has just one unbeaten remaining. You know who it is. So what's Wichita State up against, historically? Below, I've charted the fates of every last-undefeated-standing team in college hoops since the NCAA tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. 

When you deduce everything out to the median, an average college basketball season's average last flawless team takes on its first loss on Feb. 4 with a 19-0 record when it enters that game. The final unbeaten team over the past 29 seasons has gone on to average 4.7 losses. In this regard, 28-0 Wichita State has clearly blown past the standard. The ultimate end result for previous kings of the regular-season mountain? All the teams in the chart below averaged exactly three wins in the NCAA tournament, meaning an Elite Eight finish. 

That's incredibly impressive, and if Wichita State gets that far this season -- even with a Final Four trip last year -- it'll be a successful, remarkable campaign. In the KenPom era (since 2003), the last unbeaten team has finished first in those rankings twice, with the lowest being Clemson tripping to 33rd in 2007. The average place of the final unbeaten team in the past 11 years: 10th in KenPom. What's Wichita State rated right now? No. 10.

Here's the history the Shockers are going up against.

LAST UNBEATEN STANDING IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL SINCE 1984-85
Year Team Date Started season Total losses/finish
1985 Georgetown Jan. 26 14-0 3 -- Lost nat'l title game
1986 Memphis State Feb. 7 20-0 6 -- NCAAs 2nd round
1987 DePaul Jan. 25 16-0 3 -- Sweet 16
1988 BYU Feb. 6 17-0 6 -- NCAAs 2nd round
1989 Illinois Jan. 26 16-0 5 -- Final Four
1990 Georgetown Jan. 20 10-0 7 -- NCAAs 2nd round
1991 UNLV March 30 34-0 1 -- Final Four
1992 Oklahoma State/Duke Feb. 5 18-0/17-0 8 -- Sweet 16/2 -- Nat'l champs
1993 Virginia Jan. 20 11-0 10 -- Sweet 16
1994 UCLA Jan. 30 14-0 7 -- NCAAs first round
1995 UConn Jan. 28 15-0 5 -- Elite Eight
1996 UMass Feb. 24 26-0 2 -- Final Four
1997 Kansas Feb. 4 21-0 2 - Sweet 16
1998 Utah Feb. 1 17-0 4 -- Lost nat'l title game
1999 UConn Feb. 1 19-0 2 -- Nat'l champs
2000 Syracuse Feb. 7 19-0 6 -- Sweet 16
2001 Stanford Feb. 3 20-0 3 -- Elite Eight
2002 Duke Jan. 6 12-0 4 - Sweet 16
2003 Duke Jan. 18 12-0 7 --Sweet 16
2004 Saint Joe's March 11 27-0 2 -- Elite Eight
2005 Illinois March 6 29-0 2 -- Lost nat'l title game
2006 Florida Jan. 21 17-0 6 -- Nat'l champs
2007 Clemson Jan. 13 17-0 11 -- Lost NIT title game
2008 Memphis Feb. 23 26-0 2 -- Lost nat'l title game
2009 Wake Forest Jan. 21 16-0 7 - Round of 64
2010 Kentucky Jan. 26 19-0 3 -- Elite Eight
2011 Ohio State Feb. 12 24-0 3 -- Sweet 16
2012 Murray State Feb. 9 23-0 2 -- Round of 32
2013 Michigan Jan. 13 16-0 8 -- Lost nat'l title game
2014 Wichita State ?? ??? ????
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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